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Yonina Bendheim Jacobson receives her diploma amid her growing family. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Yonina Bendheim Jacobson

She Earned a Law Degree Despite Five Children. Get Guinness on the Phone.

IT HAS BECOME A WARM TRADITION. Some graduates march up to receive their diplomas with one, sometimes two of their children in tow.

Then there’s Yonina Bendheim Jacobson L’04. At this year’s graduation ceremony, she had her five – that’s right, five – children join her on stage. As impossible as it seems, Yonina started law school with four children and had another one in her last year, yet she made it through. How did she do it?

“I have been trying to balance work and family most of my adult life so the stress of law school felt kind of familiar,” says Yonina, whose sons and daughters ranged in age from 10 to two months when she graduated in May.

Yonina, a former schoolteacher, acknowledges that parenting that many children while going to law school presented challenges, but also provided benefits. She distinctly remembers one pitfall of parenthood. It came during her first year. A professor called on her as she walked into class late, delayed by a tardy babysitter. But, on another occasion, the pluses were apparent, as when a professor led a discussion in torts class on the value of car seats. Who could understand the issue better than the mother of four children strapped into a minivan?

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