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The present imagines the past and distorts it with hope. The times surely were out of joint in the late 196os, yet now I recall those Yale Law School days as merely an exciting period in my life.
Many of us who were teaching in the two academic years between the fall of 1968 and the spring of 197o had warm and pleasant relations with our students, but student-faculty relations in general were tense, confrontational, and exasperating. Yale Law students, like students almost everywhere, wanted change and wanted it now. Greater diversity, fewer grades, and more participation in governance were among their goals. Threats of disruption and in-your-face behavior were their means. The law school complied, albeit cautiously, on all fronts. It did admit more minority students. It did change the grading system by making the first semester credit-fail, and by reducing the number of tiers in other courses from eight to four. And it did give students the opportunity to have their elected representatives participate on some committees and attend some faculty meetings.
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