Law School Holds Referendum On First Year Course Format

The Law School student government is conducting a referendum this week on a proposal to organize one of the required first year Law School courses in small sections, rather than in the traditional classes of 150 students.

Jeffrey Reiman, a third year law student and president of the Law School Council, said yesterday the council feels the first semester of the first year at Law School is "The only semester in which the student has no opportunity to sit in on faculty-taught small groups--there's no one there to advise him or help him adjust."

The proposal currently under consideration would allow students to take either "Criminal Law" or "Torts" in a class of about 35 during their first semester.

Although he said the proposal would increase students' contact with one another and with faculty, Reiman said the change could result in a slight tuition increase, or in a reallocation of funds that would cut down the number of elective courses in the second and third years.

Charles Fried, professor of Law who teaches "Contracts," one of the first year courses said yesterday he would oppose the proposal if it is brought up to the Law School faculty.

"It is something that was tried for a period of four or five years, and it was concluded then that it was not the best use of anybody's time" because of the expenses involved, he said.

Fried said he feels the introductory material lends itself to large classes, adding that "no one denies the contact would be nice, but the benefits of that are way overplayed."

The council will tabulate the results of the referendum some time early next week, Reiman said.