NY Bar Trick Essay Question?

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barmagot

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NY Bar Trick Essay Question?

Postby barmagot » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:36 pm

I'm prepping for the NY bar, and in my study books is a real question from 2001.

It is an essay, con-law question. Long fact pattern about a private, religious university, and how it fired an employee for being an atheist. Question reiterated multiple times this is a private school, though it gets some funding from the state.

The questions are
1.) What United States Constitution claims can the employee make?
2.) What standards of review will be applied?
3.) What defenses will the University argue?

After reading the first 3 questions, I thought ''is this a trick or something?'' i.e., did the examiners want to trick people into sinking their time going in-depth to questions 1, 2, 3, when the answer is clearly: Constitution does not apply, this is a private school. No Constitutional claims whatsoever.

Clearly, this is not a public function or entanglement issue (which means Constitution WOULD apply), either. Facts said ''school receives some funding'' and nothing else from the state.

The first sentence of the model answer states the constitution doesn't apply, not public function, not entanglement. Then it says ''However, assuming entanglement is found'' . . . (launches into 7 pages of con-law analysis).


QUESTION:
Am I the only one thinking WTF here? I thought exams were not supposed to be tricks, and not supposed to encourage applicants to ''go down rabbit holes'' not supported by the facts (such as spending 7 pages on analysis because there is a 0.01% chance a court would hold the University must comply with the Constitution because of excessive government entanglement)

ubebarstudying

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Re: NY Bar Trick Essay Question?

Postby ubebarstudying » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:37 pm

barmagot wrote:I'm prepping for the NY bar, and in my study books is a real question from 2001.

It is an essay, con-law question. Long fact pattern about a private, religious university, and how it fired an employee for being an atheist. Question reiterated multiple times this is a private school, though it gets some funding from the state.

The questions are
1.) What United States Constitution claims can the employee make?
2.) What standards of review will be applied?
3.) What defenses will the University argue?

After reading the first 3 questions, I thought ''is this a trick or something?'' i.e., did the examiners want to trick people into sinking their time going in-depth to questions 1, 2, 3, when the answer is clearly: Constitution does not apply, this is a private school. No Constitutional claims whatsoever.

Clearly, this is not a public function or entanglement issue (which means Constitution WOULD apply), either. Facts said ''school receives some funding'' and nothing else from the state.

The first sentence of the model answer states the constitution doesn't apply, not public function, not entanglement. Then it says ''However, assuming entanglement is found'' . . . (launches into 7 pages of con-law analysis).


QUESTION:
Am I the only one thinking WTF here? I thought exams were not supposed to be tricks, and not supposed to encourage applicants to ''go down rabbit holes'' not supported by the facts (such as spending 7 pages on analysis because there is a 0.01% chance a court would hold the University must comply with the Constitution because of excessive government entanglement)


OK well, I can't say definitively what the deal was there, but it sounds like it could have been a trick question that was actually simple and just had to be properly explained. One thing I WILL say, is keep in mind that you will take the NY bar as it is NOW - the NYLE at some point and the UBE. That question is not only 17 years old, but it was on the old version of the NY Bar Exam and while I am sure they would argue to the contrary, that exam did have a tricks and the aforementioned possibly a trick/simple answer statement is just as valid as this: the OLD NY bar exam often competed with the CA bar exam as to which was the hardest in the country, and I cannot help but wonder if this question was intended to have examinees bring up legal points that would invoke a supremacy/federalism type issue analysis due to a statute or the NY state constitution or admin law and regulations such as...well, first what they are, and how they would fail and why.

ubebarstudying

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Re: NY Bar Trick Essay Question?

Postby ubebarstudying » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:39 pm

Because that is the other thing - if memory serves me correctly their essay portion was always (or almost always, I guess, since I have not researched this) hybrid essays....so I really don't think the sole purpose of the question was to be resolved by that one simple con law analysis unless they did in fact make it a trick.

barmagot

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Re: NY Bar Trick Essay Question?

Postby barmagot » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:24 pm

ubebarstudying wrote:Because that is the other thing - if memory serves me correctly their essay portion was always (or almost always, I guess, since I have not researched this) hybrid essays....so I really don't think the sole purpose of the question was to be resolved by that one simple con law analysis unless they did in fact make it a trick.


I'd agree but the model answer is all con-law, no other subjects.

ubebarstudying

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Re: NY Bar Trick Essay Question?

Postby ubebarstudying » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:04 pm

barmagot wrote:
ubebarstudying wrote:Because that is the other thing - if memory serves me correctly their essay portion was always (or almost always, I guess, since I have not researched this) hybrid essays....so I really don't think the sole purpose of the question was to be resolved by that one simple con law analysis unless they did in fact make it a trick.


I'd agree but the model answer is all con-law, no other subjects.


Well I guess I'm saying it's also possible, in theory, that they redacted the NY specific stuff and are using it as a con law essay to drive home a topic...what program?

nicola.kirwan

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Re: NY Bar Trick Essay Question?

Postby nicola.kirwan » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am

barmagot wrote:I'm prepping for the NY bar, and in my study books is a real question from 2001.

It is an essay, con-law question. Long fact pattern about a private, religious university, and how it fired an employee for being an atheist. Question reiterated multiple times this is a private school, though it gets some funding from the state.

The questions are
1.) What United States Constitution claims can the employee make?
2.) What standards of review will be applied?
3.) What defenses will the University argue?

After reading the first 3 questions, I thought ''is this a trick or something?'' i.e., did the examiners want to trick people into sinking their time going in-depth to questions 1, 2, 3, when the answer is clearly: Constitution does not apply, this is a private school. No Constitutional claims whatsoever.

Clearly, this is not a public function or entanglement issue (which means Constitution WOULD apply), either. Facts said ''school receives some funding'' and nothing else from the state.

The first sentence of the model answer states the constitution doesn't apply, not public function, not entanglement. Then it says ''However, assuming entanglement is found'' . . . (launches into 7 pages of con-law analysis).


QUESTION:
Am I the only one thinking WTF here? I thought exams were not supposed to be tricks, and not supposed to encourage applicants to ''go down rabbit holes'' not supported by the facts (such as spending 7 pages on analysis because there is a 0.01% chance a court would hold the University must comply with the Constitution because of excessive government entanglement)


I would interpret the call of this question to be, in part, a call to analyze the extent to which "some funding from the state" gives rise to any Constitutional claims, and on what basis.

Also, operating from the assumption that there are not possibly any Constitutional issues here skips over what the question (implicitly) asked examinees to do, which is to explain why or why not any Constitutional claims could be made and how they would proceed. If you don't operate on that assumption, then the subsequent questions might be clues that there is a Constitutional issue here.

b290

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Re: NY Bar Trick Essay Question?

Postby b290 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:08 pm

barmagot wrote:I'm prepping for the NY bar, and in my study books is a real question from 2001.

It is an essay, con-law question. Long fact pattern about a private, religious university, and how it fired an employee for being an atheist. Question reiterated multiple times this is a private school, though it gets some funding from the state.

The questions are
1.) What United States Constitution claims can the employee make?
2.) What standards of review will be applied?
3.) What defenses will the University argue?

After reading the first 3 questions, I thought ''is this a trick or something?'' i.e., did the examiners want to trick people into sinking their time going in-depth to questions 1, 2, 3, when the answer is clearly: Constitution does not apply, this is a private school. No Constitutional claims whatsoever.

Clearly, this is not a public function or entanglement issue (which means Constitution WOULD apply), either. Facts said ''school receives some funding'' and nothing else from the state.

The first sentence of the model answer states the constitution doesn't apply, not public function, not entanglement. Then it says ''However, assuming entanglement is found'' . . . (launches into 7 pages of con-law analysis).


QUESTION:
Am I the only one thinking WTF here? I thought exams were not supposed to be tricks, and not supposed to encourage applicants to ''go down rabbit holes'' not supported by the facts (such as spending 7 pages on analysis because there is a 0.01% chance a court would hold the University must comply with the Constitution because of excessive government entanglement)

There are no tricks. Since it's a NY essay pre-UBE, you must argue BOTH SIDES. The UBE has a different format (6 essays, 30 mins per essay) than the old exam (5 essays, 45 mins per essay) and you frankly don't have the time to write such answers.

Irrespective of legal issues, you're doing yourself a disservice by trying to keep exactly to pre-UBE NY model answers. That exam doesn't exit anymore. Anything other than a general issue (no counter arguments You'd be better served by studying UBE essay questions, as they reflect the NY exam now.

My $.02



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