|No doubt about it: law school is tough. According to one early 20th century newspaper account, the pressure to study could even be deadly. Here are a few things you can do at the HLS Library to fend off brain fever and make the time you do spend studying more effective:
KILLED BY OVERSTUDY
Death of William Thornton Parker, Jr, a Student in Harvard Law School from Springfield
Yesterday afternoon William Thornton Parker, Jr, a third-year student in the Harvard Law School, died at the Cambridge Hospital, where he had been sick but a few days. Parker’s death was caused by an abscess on the brain, a result of overstudy. This time of year in the Law School during the final examinations is very hard and, in fact, the work is so hard that it is a wonder that many more do not break down. It was said some time ago that if the work in the Law School was not lessened at once several men would certainly be the victims of brain fever, and this turned out to be true in the case of Parker.
Mr Parker had been taking his final examinations, and had been working very hard. He was an exceptionally brilliant man, being an A man in the Law School, having graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1897, with the highest honors that the institution could confer on any man. He then came to Harvard and entered the Law School, where he began the study of law. He worked day and night over this subject and so it is no wonder that he finally broke down and went crazy.
Mr Parker’s home was in Springfield, Mass, where he was very well known.
Boston Journal, June 8, 1900, page 2
Thanks to Dave Warrington in HLSL‘s Historical & Special Collections Unit for finding this obituary!