Leon Cain, via LinkedIn.

A Washington, D.C., medical examiner investigating the death of Stanford Law School student and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz summer associate Leon Cain said Thursday that Cain died of “multiple blunt force injuries” and that his death has been ruled an accident.

Cain, who had recently accepted an offer to join Wachtell as a full-time associate, died on Aug. 19 while staying in the capital.

According to an incident report by Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department at the time, emergency medical personnel were called to the Woodward Building, an apartment and hotel complex near the White House, after a concierge was alerted in the morning hours to an unconscious person on the building’s second-floor terrace.

Cain, 27, was found unresponsive and declared dead at the scene. According to a statement Thursday from Cheryle Adams, special assistant to the city’s chief medical examiner, the “manner of death was ruled an accident.”

The police department did not respond to multiple requests Thursday for further information.

Born in Berlin and a graduate of the University of Southern California, Cain enrolled at Stanford Law School in 2016. He served on the board of Stanford’s Black Law Student Association and was editor-in-chief of the Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance.

In the summer of 2016, he joined O’Melveny & Myers as a part of its SEO Law Fellowship Program, and the following year he was a summer associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles.

This summer Cain joined Wachtell as a summer associate in New York. Shortly before his death, he had accepted an offer to join the firm upon his graduation next year.

“Leon felt strongly about providing support and advice to younger students of color and was a mentor to many in our law school family,” Stanford Law School said in a statement following his death.

“He was the best kind of student: intellectually curious and articulate, yet entirely unpretentious,” Stanford law professor Colleen Honigsberg said in a tribute to Cain published on the law school’s website this week.

“Leon typified everything that made Stanford Law great—brilliant in the classroom, a champion for just causes, and a welcoming presence for all,” Cain’s former roommate and O’Melveny summer associate Devon Gray told Stanford Lawyer. “These qualities made Leon larger than life at Stanford.”

To honor his commitment to mentorship, the school said it is establishing the Leon Cain Memorial Fund, which has already raised over $54,000.

The law school will also hold a memorial service for him on Sunday, Oct. 14, on the Stanford campus.


Cause of Death for Stanford Law 3L Leon Cain Remains Unclear