Recently, the Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law family lost one of its own when a recent graduate decided to take his own life. He was an accomplished student, successful trial team advocate and a devoted volunteer and mentor to his high school debate team. More importantly, he had an extraordinary heart and the warmest of smiles. Unfortunately, he struggled to pass the bar exam, failing it twice. A few days before bar prep was scheduled to begin again, he committed suicide. At age 26, this young man still had his entire life ahead of him. That much is unquestionable. Maybe the question is: Why did he not see that? Inevitably, those who knew him personally ask: What could we have done differently to help or save him?

We cannot pretend that suicide presents easy questions with simple answers. When a community grapples with this kind of loss, the sentiment is often expressed that if something could have been done, we would have done it. If signs were visible, we would have seen them and intervened. If a cry for help was made, we would have answered the call. In the absence of warning signs or pleas for help, we attempt to comfort ourselves with the resolution that such a loss could not have been prevented, thus relieving ourselves of our own feelings of confusion, anger or even guilt. Whether and how we as individuals move on, however, there is at least one professional institution that should not escape this conversation so easily or so quietly: our law schools.

The Dark Reality Of Our Profession

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