Leon Cain was a rising third-year student at Stanford Law School. An advocate of increasing diversity in the legal field, he strongly believed in expanding access to legal education for black youth. Leon served as treasurer and board member of the Stanford Black Law Students Association.
In the legacy of Cain’s advocacy, The Leon Cain Scholarship Fund for Aspiring Black Law Students has been established by Cain’s friends and family. The Fund consists of money from donations as well as Leon’s own savings. At the time of publication, it stands at $54,091, surpassing the $50,000 goal.
Cain died at 27 years old on Aug. 19. A Washington, D.C. medical examiner investigating Cain’s death said that he died of “multiple blunt force injuries,” and the cause of his death was ruled an accident.
Born in Berlin, Germany, Cain grew up in Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California (USC). He worked in California politics and began his legal education at Stanford in 2016. Cain obtained a B.A. in International Relations as a member of the USC class of 2013, where he also minored in German and Business Law.
In addition to his advocacy work at Stanford, Cain also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance. Shortly before his death, he had signed an offer to join New York Law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as an associate after graduation in 2019.
“[Cain] was a very successful member of our summer class and we were looking forward to having him join the firm as a full-time associate next year,” the firm said in a statement. “We mourn his passing.”
He is survived by his mother Henny, younger sister Kelly Hicks, stepfather Kelvin Hicks, cousins Janet and Vincent, aunt Elinor and uncle Alex, aunt Kirsten and girlfriend Rina.
A memorial service for Cain will be held on Oct. 14 at Stanford Law School.
This article has been updated to reflect the cause of Cain’s death as an accident, which was previously undetermined.
Contact Karen Kurosawa at karen16 ‘at’ stanford.edu.