[Guest post from 2008 New York University School of Law graduate Derek Tokaz]
Eliminate first year Legal Research and Writing ("Lawyering"), and add first year Logic, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility (LEPR), and second year practice-specific Lawyering in its place.
While large lectures with Socratic interrogations may be the most intimidating part of your first year of law school, your Lawyering class may be the most overwhelming (even if it's ungraded, as mine was). In your core subject classes, you're asked only to learn the law, while Lawyering tells you to learn the law and learn how to write at the same time. A great deal of time on first year writing assignments is spent learning legal fundamentals that you'll likely pick up in another class, such as what the elements of a contract are or the requirements for a motion to dismiss. Lawyering in the first year is like giving composition assignments to someone in a foreign language 101 class. They're worthwhile assignments, but wait until the students know some vocabulary and grammar.
Moving Lawyering to the second year would make the assignments more like what students will experience in the real world. They'll have an idea of the general legal landscape, but are doing research in to more specific questions they've not yet encountered.
This leaves a big hole in the first year, and you still need a class with a very small number of students, if only to preserve the sanity of 1Ls (and to help them organize flag football teams). Replace it with Logic, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility.