Law Committee Shifts Season For Interviews

Law School officials will announce today modifications in this year's job placement program, which students and employers criticized s hampering the students' chances for employment.

A controversy erupted this fall when placement officers shortened the on-campus recruiting season from seven weeks to four weeks, and made it almost a month later than usual.

Surveys of students and law firms taken earlier this month showed that both sides felt Harvard students would be put at a disadvantage in the job market.

Stephen M. Bernardi '52, secretary to the Law faculty, said yesterday that the new system will be modified. The four-week placement season will be pushed forward two weeks.

The administration surveyed students and law firms earlier this month, and they found that of the 153 second-year students polled by the administration, 141 said the initial change was detrimental to students. Of 91 law firms polled, 60 said the timing was worse.

"When we saw Harvard students we had already made a number of offers," Jeffrey F. Jones of the Boston law firm Palmer and Dodge said yesterday. "Harvard was at the end of the list...Anything that moves [Harvard's season] back into the mainstream of law school interviewing makes good sense."

But rather than revert to the old seven-week system, the Placement Committee' decided last Friday to stay with the four-week schedule. "The feeling was that the seven week interviewing process had taken over the fall semester," Bernardi explained.

Next year's season will still start a week later that it traditionally has, when the Law School had to hand out placement material at registration.

"Students shouldn't be registering and looking for a job at the same time. That says something about the school's priorities," the Harvard Law Record quoted N. June Thompson, director of placement, as saying two weeks ago.

Originally scheduled to decide on next year's interview schedule on February 9, the placement committee waited until last Friday for the results of the student survey and the actions of other law schools.

The committee will announce the chance in a letter to the Law faculty today