Having success on the MPRE

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You’ve probably heard a few stories about the MPRE and tips for having success on the MPRE. Here’s what you’re up against when taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam:

  • 60 multiple-choice questions
  • Ten of them will go unscored
  • Two hours to complete the exam

While nowhere near as long or as demanding as the bar exam, the MPRE is definitely in its own category.

It can be complex and tricky, all by design. The MPRE is meant to task you with thinking like a lawyer when ethical situations aren’t so clear-cut. Even though it has the reputation of being “easy” and “not a big deal,” you’ll definitely want to study.

Do not take the MPRE for granted. It’s one of the requirements for bar admission in every U.S. state and jurisdiction except Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. (Connecticut and New Jersey will accept the successful completion of a professional responsibility law school course in place of a passing MPRE score.)

Comparing “apples to oranges”

Many students opt to take the MPRE after completing their law school’s Professional Responsibility (PR) class. However, do not rely solely on your PR class notes to streamline your MPRE prep. The MPRE tests the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. In contrast, some law school courses may focus on state-specific rules of professional conduct or teach a combination (ABA and state).

Plus, the hypos you encounter in PR class are likely to be quite different from the scenarios presented in the MPRE questions. It is helpful, however, to take the PR course in your second year of law school and then register for the MPRE after its completion. This way you can spend time reviewing the rules you learned in your course and appropriately applying them to practice MPRE questions.

You must devote time to study

If you can swing a few days off from work or school to study for the MPRE, do it. (You won’t regret it.) The multiple-choice questions on the MPRE have become increasingly difficult with each exam administration. Taking a law school legal ethics or PR class won’t guarantee a passing score. Consider taking the free BARBRI MPRE review course, which covers all things ethics, is highly organized and always current on legal ethics information.

Here’s everything you need to know about the MPRE – from the exam format and registration and testing dates to passing scores and what’s tested and when you should take it.

Best of luck on the MPRE!

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