My MPRE Experience (Even When The Passing Score Changed)

Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin, 3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

So if you’re anything like me, you came into law school not totally knowing what you’re getting yourself into. I was aware that I had to take a bar exam, but people tend to overlook the fact that a multistate professional responsibility exam (MPRE) is required, as well.

You have to be ready for just about anything

My state’s MPRE score requirement was originally around 70. After passing new regulations, it increased to 82. Our law school informed us that if we took the MPRE in March of 2018, we’d be able to use the lower passing score as our benchmark.

Well, I had no idea what was on the MPRE nor had I ever even taken a Professional Responsibility class. I was now about two weeks into my MPRE Review course preparation. Nonetheless, I decided that I wanted to get the benefit of the lower MPRE score. I scrambled to register for the MPRE.

Just a few weeks after registering, we were informed that we wouldn’t get the benefit of the lower score. We’d have to score at least an 82 to pass the MPRE in my state.

The results of that news: Insert MAJOR anxiety

I was registered to take an exam for which I had never taken a class and had no idea what to expect.

The days prior to the MPRE, I spent studying the professional rules of responsibility. I made flash cards, charts, worksheets, watched the BARBRI MPRE Review videos and read books. I didn’t know if I was prepared for my MPRE experience or not, but I knew I would have to try my best.

On the day of the exam …

I arrived early to the testing site. Among my other required materials, I had three major tools with me: Kleenex, cough drops and Carmex. When I got into the building, there were about five other students. We had no idea where we were going. Five students eventually grew to about 30 students. Imagine 30 of us walking around a building trying to figure out what’s happening. (Yes, my MPRE experience was a mess, so far.) Eventually, we found our check-in stations and room assignments.

There was nothing special about the classroom. I only remember it being an engineering class. It was cold, too. Really cold (remember to take a jacket).

The exam itself wasn’t extremely gruesome

Nothing like the LSAT (which I thought was TERRIBLE). The MPRE questions were straightforward, but the answer choices had a few nuances here and there. It’s kind of one of those things where one answer choice may not be “moral” to you, per se, but it’s not “illegal” or “unethical.”

When I finished the exam, I kid you not, I had no idea how I did. I knew I either did really well or really poorly.

As it turns out, I did well, really well. Keep in mind, I took a PR class during my MPRE experience and hadn’t had any previous exposure to professional responsibility scenarios. I scored much higher than what was required. Now, I can sit for the bar exam in any state or jurisdiction.

Here’s my advice: study

That’s it, short and sweet. Nothing special. Just study. Sure, you might feel like you don’t know anything going in or coming out of the MPRE. If you study, and study hard, trust that everything else will be fine.