A first-year student at Yale Law School was found dead in his apartment last night.
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Update (12:40 PM): We just got off the phone with Bliss Bernarda in Yale’s Office of Public Affairs. She confirmed that a Yale Law School student has died but said the university does not have further comment at this time. We provided her with our contact information, and we will let you know if and when the school issues a statement.
Update (1:05 PM): We are hearing that the death may not have been violent (as some people appear to be assuming) — that he may have died of natural causes. But we don’t have confirmation or details.
Further updates appear after the jump.
Update (1:20 PM): Some people have emailed us to complain about our coverage. Here’s our response:
It is highly unusual for a 1L to be found dead in his apartment. Until more details are available, I am treating this as a newsworthy event.
If there are specific reader comments that you find objectionable, please feel free to identify them by time posted, and I will review them for possible removal. But until I hear more, I am treating this as serious business.
[T]here is also a public safety issue here. I wonder whether people would have viewed the first Virginia Tech deaths — the ones that preceded the massacre — as private matters unfit for public discussion.
Update (1:50 PM): Multiple sources at Yale are telling us that the death (1) does not raise public safety concerns and (2) is not particularly newsworthy. So we have closed the comments to this thread. We may append a final addendum explaining why this unusual event is supposedly not newsworthy (if and when we ever find that out).
We’d add that we did have reason to suspect that the death was newsworthy and/or violent — namely, the urgent, school-wide meeting called by Dean Koh. This news could just as easily have been conveyed through other means — e.g., early next week, by email (with information about funeral arrangements) — and with less urgency and drama.
Finally, we’d note that there tragically have been, over the years, a number of murder cases involving Yale students. E.g, Christian Prince; Suzanne Jovin. Given New Haven’s historically high crime rate, these are matters of legitimate public interest, to potential students and visitors — such as alumni, who will be on campus next month for reunions, and law firm personnel conducting on-campus interviews.
Earlier: What’s Up At Yale Law School?