Grading System at Law School Will Go to Student Referendum

The Law School's highly-competitive numerical grading system will be brought before a student referendum as a result of widespread complaint among third-year men.

The referendum will seek student opinion on changing the present plan to one of letter grades and on discontinuing the current practice to releasing exact rank and course scores to prespective employers.

In the plan's only precedent, a similar poll in 1935 when 88.2 percent of the student body voted in favor of receiving individual course grades--the faculty revised the system in accordance with student wishes.

Consideration of Deans

"The administration will, of course, give great consideration to the present poll," Livingston Hall, vice-dean, stated yesterday. "However," he said, "We can make no prediction on what the final decision will be."

The proposal arose because of strong feeling among third-year men that grade distinctions between 62 and 79 are largely artificial and that a difference in merely one point can often lead to an "unjustified difference in class standing."

A proposed draft of the poll, drawn up last week by members of the Dormitory Council, has been dropped after consultation with Hall, Dean Gruswold, and Lon L. Fuller, Carter, Professor of General Jurisprudence. The dean's felt the proposed draft would be instlequate for obtaining information which the Council and faculty would need. Hall suggested some further questions.

Special Committee

Paul F. Glenn 3L, Law Council president, will recommend at the Council meeting on Monday night the a committee consisting of one man from each major Law School organization be appointed to prepare another referendum draft. "A final poll probably will not be ready for a vote before late January or early February," Glenn said.

Alternatives to the present system include adopting a straight letter grade system; adopting such a plan along with plus and minus grades; using the Business School system of "high pass, low pass, failing"; retaining the present system for the first year and using the straight letter grade plan the following two years; or using such a plan with plus and minus signs.