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Most LLM students and foreign-trained lawyers who are interested in U.S. bar admission choose to sit for the New York bar exam. LLM students often feel frustrated by the process of foreign-education evaluation and the seemingly rigid formal requirements for documentation and affidavits. What is a
Some of the rules of New York law the bar exam tests on can yield amusing cases. The Brooklyn Supreme Court recently decided a "ferocious cat" case called Napolitano v. Alshaebi, 2014 NY Slip Op 51197(U), August 8, 2014 (Rivera, J.). The court applied the singular New York rule that refuses to hold owners of domestic animals liable in negligence unless they already knew of the animal's vicious propensities.
Plaintiff in Napolitano alleged that defendant's "large, opossum-like," cat emerged from a shelf of Entenmann's cakes and behaved aggressively to her dog. When plaintiff picked her dog up, the cat attacked plaintiff's leg, causing injuries. Could the court hold the shop-owner liable? Not in New York. Only when the owner already knows of the cat or dog's (or turtle's, etc.) vicious propensities, does liability, and indeed, in that case strict liability, apply. Just as though the animal was a lion or a tiger.
The report on the Napolitano case by John Caher in the New York Law Journal for August 13 notes that "The justices in Albany have wrestled with a slew of 'vicious propensity' cases in recent years." They have dealt with a roaming cow, a lovesick horse, and a boisterous dog. In a particularly dramatic instance, Fred, a dehorned but testosterone-infused bull, was roaming a barnyard where it was hoped he might impregnate the females, when an unwitting handyman happened into the pen, and Fred attacked him. Injuries were severe, including a lacerated liver, broken ribs, and an injured back.
The policy issue, as Caher reports, split the Court of Appeals 4-3. Judge Robert Smith wrote in dissent: "Why should a person hit by a subway train be able to recover and one hit by a breeding bull be left without a remedy?" Bard v. Jahnke, 6 NY3d592 2006.
The New York bar exam is not the time to think about that question.
Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher here. We'll be sending out our new list of CLE courses for practicing lawyers very soon. But first I need to ask you a favor . . . .
We're really close to wrapping up our long-awaited 3-credit Skills course on "Emails and Efficient Legal Memos." We will be releasing it this month. But before we do, I need to ask you a couple of questions. Can you help us?
MCG Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D. (Harvard), Ph.D. Founder & President BarWrite® and BarWrite Press PO Box 1308 Gracie Station New York, NY 10028-10010 212.327.2817 <tel:212.327.2817>
*Winner of the 2014 Global Legal Skills Award-- BarWrite® is the Pioneer in Global Bar Prep for LLMs *Winner of the Alan Cimberg Award of the National Speakers Association, New York Chapter Books on Amazon.com:
* WRITE FAST LEGAL MEMOS “LIKE A SPORT™” * PERFORM YOUR BEST ON THE BAR EXAM PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT) * SCORING HIGH ON BAR EXAM ESSAYS * CONTRACTS AND UCC FOR THE NEW YORK STATE BAR EXAM Recent Article: “Alternatives for Scheduling the Bar Exam,” with Professor Carol A. Buckler, New York State Bar Association Journal, September 2013
Students in the Gallagher/BarWrite bar-prep classes must use pen and paper to take notes and to draft their essays in class. No computers or pda's are allowed. When we use pen and paper we know better what we are doing than when we use the computer. On the computer, our motions become automatic. My preference for handwriting rests solely on my experience as a teacher and writer.
Now, however, there is solid evidence that taking notes by hand leads to deeper learning than taking notes on a computer. Two scientists, Pam Mueller at Princeton and Daniel Oppenheimer at UCLA reported their findings in a paper called "The Pen is Mightier Than the Keyboard," originally published in Psychological Science in April 2014. Both the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post reported the results.
In the basic experiment, college students in one room listened to a lecture and took notes by hand, while those in another room took notes on their laptops. Tested half an hour later, the two groups retained the same amount of factual information, but the laptop users did much worse in tests on ideas. Apparently, using the laptop can lead to mindless transcription.
When another two groups of students were given a week to study their notes after the lecture, the results were even more striking. Those who took notes by hand did better both on factual questions and on ideas.
These results suggest, as Wray Herbert noted on the Huffington Post, that "longhand notes not only lead to higher quality learning in the first place, they are also a superior strategy for storing new learning for later study." Or perhaps the two interact.
Interestingly, when the experimenters told the laptop users not to take verbatim notes, the laptop users did so anyway. Typing appears to lead straight to mindless processing.
Although everyone knows that memorizing is useful for the bar exam, and most lawyers have memorized at least the first few lines of an oral argument, memorizing is deeply unfashionable. New research, however, suggests that we shouldn't save
It's early May, so you have time to do a good job of preparing for the July bar exam. Start by reading "Five Tips for Early Bar Exam Prep" http://www.barwrite.com/5-tips-for-early-bar-exam-prep.html
Second, if you have not signed up yet for your full bar review course, or you are in <hr /> doubt about the course you signed up for, read "Five Reasons Foreign-Trained Lawyers and LLMs Need a Full Bar Review Course." http://www.barwrite.com/llms-full-bar-course.html Also read: Five Tips for Choosing a Full Bar Review Course." http://www.barwrite.com/5-tips-for-choosing-full-bar-course.html
Third, get control of your bar exam study schedule. Sign up now for the replay of the teleseminar "How to Design Your Daily Study Schedule." http://barwrite.com/free-teleseminar-three.html You will receive four hand-outs by email. Read them as you listen to the replay, for which the call-in number is: 832-551-5171, the ID: 102019#, and the recording number: 7.
Fourth, whether you are taking the New York bar exam or the exam in another jurisdiction, download my new Kindle ebook "Contracts and UCC for the New York State Bar Exam." http://amzn.to/1oiLzlD It's only $2.99 until next Monday! Now is your chance to start memorizing the "World Cup Rules(TM)" for Contracts and UCC, which you find in the ebook, and which will serve you on the MBE, too. The ebook also contains bar exam questions and sample answers. If you are going to use the questions and answers, be sure to read the chapter called "How to Use This Book."
Fifth, as you move forward, focus on the most heavily tested rules in the most intensively tested subjects. Make sure to test yourself every day. Reading is not preparing! You learn best by quizzing yourself.
I'll have more to say later.
Best of success,
MCG Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D., Ph.D. Founder and President, BarWrite and BarWrite Press http://www.BarWrite.com
Josh Waitzkin's The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance is both a memoir of a brilliant learner and an instructional guide to learning anything and to living fully.
As a little boy Waitzkin learned chess from the street hustlers in Washington Square Park, and he became a national chess champion at the age of nine. When he was fifteen, his father created a book and a movie about him, "Searching for Bobby Fisher." The attention damaged his relationship to chess, however, and he began studying Tai Chi Chuan. In this new realm he became a World Champion.
Waitzkin's thoughts on how to learn--how to learn almost anything--come from subtle observation of himself and of others as he mastered these vastly different arts,
To: Faculty Using the Book Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT) as Course Text/Host Law Schools for MPT Workshops
From: Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D., Ph.D.
Re: Proposed Intensification of MPT Courses
Date: March 4, 2014
Students' response to the MPT methods I teach in Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT) continues to be outstanding. Last week a New York bar candidate told me that he had left the MPT to last, and so he had been 10 minutes short of time. He said, "I could not imagine finishing the MPT" without using those systems. Another bar candidate said that before taking my MPT Boot Camp the MPT had been "a black hole."
Believing nonetheless that we can always improve even on success, following are several intensifications I plan for my MPT courses, at BarWrite® and for host law schools.
Do foreign-trained attorneys who want to become members of the New York bar need to take a full bar review course?
Yes, indeed. First, the New York bar exam is notoriously difficult for most foreign-trained lawyers, and they fail at twice the rate of JDs. Not knowing enough law has to be a major reason, but there are at least five additional reasons why taking a full New York bar course is vital, not optional. And BarWrite® is objective on this question, because it does NOT offer a full bar review course. BarWrite® offers only
One of the benefits of belonging to the New York State Bar Association is receiving the Journal. The content is often excellent. Each month, Gerald Lebovitz, a New York City Civil Court judge, presents "The Legal Writer." Last March, for example, Judge Lebovits continued his series on Summary Judgment.
Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D., Ph.D., Founder and President of BarWrite® and BarWrite Press
About BarWrite® Blog
Welcome to BarWriteBlog.com, the blawg about the bar exam and the first year of law practice, including researching and writing memoranda, briefs, and letters.
BarWrite® and BarWrite Press
OUR IN-HOUSE COURSES: For law schools and law firms By practicing basic skills with a variety of materials, students in BarWrite®'s intensive one-day and two-day boot camps, for legal education and continuing legal education, learn to organize work products more efficiently, "like a sport."
OUR BAR-PREP COURSES BarWrite® means results-driven supplemental boot camps, workshops, and 1-on-1 coaching that prepare students to dominate the bar exam essays, the MBE and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).