Tennessee Judge Holds Baby on His Hip as Mom Takes Oath of Office
"Judge Dinkins understands the importance of being sworn in, the importance of family, and how important it was for Beckham to take part in that moment."
Friday, November 8, 2019, marked the last phase of a long journey for Juliana Lamar. After graduating from Belmont University College of Law this past May, the last official step she had to take to become an attorney was to take the oath of admission. As Juliana stood opposite her law school mentor, Judge Dinkins of the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and recited her oath, it was truly a family affair. As you can see in the now-viral video below, Judge Dinkins is holding Juliana's son in his arms and gently bouncing him up and down as he administers her oath.
Juliana spoke to Southern Living via email and said, "Before we began the ceremony, Judge Dinkins immediately reached for my son, Beckham, because he wanted him to take part in the moment. Judge Dinkins understands the importance of being sworn in, the importance of family, and how important it was for Beckham to take part in that moment. He insisted Beckham assist in administering the oath and I will forever be grateful for that and him."
Beckham wasn't the only family member there to cheer on his mama. Also, proudly in attendance were Juliana's husband Javon, her mother Ana, classmates Chudi Echetebu and Chicoya Smith, her fellow law clerk, Gale Robinson, and Judge Dinkins' secretary, Martha Tria, and his law clerk Emily Patten, who served as Juliana's attorney mentor and introduced her to Judge Dinkins.
The video was posted online by another law school friend, Sarah Martin, and has been viewed nearly 700 thousand times and counting. In an additional Twitter post, Sarah boasted about Juliana's strength and dedication to school and becoming the best lawyer she can be, and even gave her a viral plug to help her find a job. "She was back at school within a week of an emergency c-section before she was even allowed to drive or climb stairs. Her judicial clerkship will be up August 2021--she'll be looking to practice sports/entertainment or corporate law," the post reads.
When we asked her about this drive, she was quick to say she didn't get to this point alone. Her family is her biggest support and what motivates her most.
"My family is my biggest inspiration. I just want to be able to take care of them. Javon has been extremely supportive during this journey and, honestly, I couldn't have done it without him. Whether he was latching Beckham on to me in the middle of the night so I wouldn't have to get up, to make my coffee in the morning, even though he normally took night shifts, he has made this whole journey easier for me and I'm so appreciative of him for that."
She continued, "Of course, I work hard so my son can have an even better childhood than I had, and just so he knows he can do anything he puts his mind to. Lastly, I work hard for my mom. She has sacrificed a lot to help me get to where I am, so I just want to be able to repay her one day."
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Not all heroes are moms. But all moms are heroes. Congratulations, Juliana!