Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

BU Law Students Found In Hospital After Being Sought as a Missing Person/Possible Drowning Suicide

I'm surprised suicide is so rare among law students; at leas wolfman04/13/17
Law school is stressful for sure, but most aren't aware of h flharfh04/13/17
That is true, law schools do their absolute best to hide the wolfman04/13/17
Deans and such become actively uncomfortable around people w wolfman04/13/17
Hopelessness leads to despair...which leads to thoughts of s qdllc04/14/17
You posted links to 2 attorney suicides by drowning. Ever jeffm04/13/17
Well, law-talking folks keep going in the river, what can on wolfman04/13/17
"I just think the profession and especially the educational jeffm04/13/17
I considered suicide after law school. After 4.0 at good und adamb04/13/17
Good that things got better for you. I think a lot of us law cranky04/13/17
How many people actually had a suicide when they were in law downwardslope04/13/17
It's easy to see how law school and the practice of law taxe flharfh04/13/17
Our school had a mandatory session on the risks of alcohol/d qdllc04/14/17
Dentistryi is almost completely analogous to law school. Stu confused1l9304/13/17
Interesting. Most of the dentists that I know work 8-5 M-W, rainsofcastamere04/13/17
I went to BU Law. Probably fewer jumps off the BU Bridge tha elphaba1204/13/17
Had a 3l off himself my 1l year, and a 1l off himself 2nd se irishlaw04/14/17
That's so sad. No school or career is worth that elphaba1204/14/17
wolfman (Apr 13, 2017 - 12:06 pm)

I'm surprised suicide is so rare among law students; at least half of new grads in the schools like BU are left broke, in debt and basically worse off if they had gotten a job straight out of college... if it wasn't for human resiliency and our ability to forget our mistakes and convince ourselves that "things will get better," I'd expect see at least 4-5 suicides in an average private law school per academic year:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4409024/Boston-University-law-student-26-missing.html

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flharfh (Apr 13, 2017 - 12:15 pm)

Law school is stressful for sure, but most aren't aware of how precarious their situation actually is until months after graduation.

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wolfman (Apr 13, 2017 - 12:30 pm)

That is true, law schools do their absolute best to hide the ball until the person is actually off the premises and hopefully moved away.

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wolfman (Apr 13, 2017 - 12:31 pm)

Deans and such become actively uncomfortable around people who are from "away" (especially if the school is in a smaller place) and have failed to "move on" (usually crawl away home to live with parents as this guy did). Very similar to a used car store, IMHO, no one wants some loser whose lemon broke down hanging around the dealership scaring away customers/rubes...

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qdllc (Apr 14, 2017 - 8:13 am)

Hopelessness leads to despair...which leads to thoughts of suicide.

It's a process that takes time. I'd expect the average "law school suicide" happens about 8-10 years out when the graduate realizes how screwed over they are and accept the odds of it turning around are dropping precariously each year going forward.

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jeffm (Apr 13, 2017 - 12:26 pm)

You posted links to 2 attorney suicides by drowning.

Everybody loves a "Rocky." Not everybody bounces from being a schmuck to Rocky's level of stardom, but pretty much everyone who's in a low spot right now is certain to bounce in a positive direction over time with some fortitude. If things are likely to improve, why end it now?

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wolfman (Apr 13, 2017 - 12:37 pm)

Well, law-talking folks keep going in the river, what can one do? I didn't go looking for these stories, honestly, although the similarity struck me.

But for the record, I agree... I just think the profession and especially the educational racket that sustains it in its current form is a factory for manufacturing unhappiness for many and suicide for some, and not by accident, but because of the way it is set up.

True, I don't know whether these suicides/attempts have anything to do with the line of work these people were in (the judge was certainly about as "successful" as one can be in law), but it's interesting...

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jeffm (Apr 13, 2017 - 2:46 pm)

"I just think the profession and especially the educational racket that sustains it in its current form is a factory for manufacturing unhappiness for many and suicide for some, and not by accident, but because of the way it is set up."

That's probably true in regards to all sorts of professions and trades. Many were having a good time in undergrad with a useless degree and made the decision to go to law school under duress because the only other choice was to go into the real world and show what a waste undergrad was. So, they are in a profession they'd have never chosen otherwise. You also have others that go into it thinking it's easy money and prestige. Ultimately, it becomes mundane.

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adamb (Apr 13, 2017 - 3:27 pm)

I considered suicide after law school. After 4.0 at good undergrad and after teaching writing for two years at a top program for MFA - the only jobs I could get thereafter was secretarial type "temp" work, i.e. working full time for crappy pay, no bennies, no security, and no respect. And I did not even debt at that point.

I thought law skool would change that position. But thereafter, I was unemployed, unable to get even my prior temp work, in massive debt, and feeling guilty that I was a 27 year old man who could not even support myself let alone my family. As men - we really are ingrained with being self-sufficient as part of our identity. It sucks being a failure.

I was lucky to have an awesome partner in my corner to not make me feel like a failure, to ride things out as I clawed my way into something stable, and to keep me from isolation an unending despair.

If I were alone - I could see things having gone in a much darker direction.

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cranky (Apr 13, 2017 - 6:41 pm)

Good that things got better for you. I think a lot of us lawyers (particularly those who don't get the big bucks expected of attorneys) go through depression, thinking what the heck did I do all that work for and spend so much money to achieve? I never thought about killing myself but definitely hated my jobs and wished I had never gone to law school many times. Top student, top law school, top LSAT scores only to result in craptacular job options and terrible clients. Years later, I'm still practicing, thankfully as a moderately successful solo now, but a lot of my peers have left the profession by now. How's your new job? Thanks for sharing your experiences often here.

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downwardslope (Apr 13, 2017 - 4:28 pm)

How many people actually had a suicide when they were in law school? We had one when I was in school. There was no doubt.

I had a friend in dental school who said she had two people commit suicide while she was in school so I guess dental school is worse.

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flharfh (Apr 13, 2017 - 5:38 pm)

It's easy to see how law school and the practice of law taxes mental health - legal practice is an inherently stressful business, and coupled with a terrible job market and student loans, it's easy to see how someone's mental health could suffer. I believe I saw some study which found that something like one in three associates in private practice abused alcohol/drugs.

On the other hand, I don't understand why dentists / dental students disproportionately commit suicide. Dentistry seems like a stable and well paying, if a little unpleasant/gross, profession.

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qdllc (Apr 14, 2017 - 8:14 am)

Our school had a mandatory session on the risks of alcohol/drug abuse and suicide risks associated with the practice of law. Nobody kicked their oxygen addiction during my time.

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confused1l93 (Apr 13, 2017 - 9:04 pm)

Dentistryi is almost completely analogous to law school. Students often leave with extreme amounts of debt. Dentistry doesn't pay much unless you go on your own.

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rainsofcastamere (Apr 13, 2017 - 9:16 pm)

Interesting. Most of the dentists that I know work 8-5 M-W, 8-12 Th, then play golf until Monday rolls around again. I kick myself for not going that route daily.

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elphaba12 (Apr 13, 2017 - 9:22 pm)

I went to BU Law. Probably fewer jumps off the BU Bridge than the MIT Bridge. One girl left first year after the first week. Smart woman.

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irishlaw (Apr 14, 2017 - 1:19 am)

Had a 3l off himself my 1l year, and a 1l off himself 2nd semester of my 2l year.

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elphaba12 (Apr 14, 2017 - 7:03 am)

That's so sad. No school or career is worth that

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