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 is required, as well.
I took the MPRE March 2018 and here’s my recount of what happened.
So, my states MPRE score requirement was originally around 70. After passing new regulations the passing score increased to 82. Our 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 test, nor had I ever even taken a Professional Responsibility class, as I was about 2 weeks into the course. Nonetheless, I decided that I wanted to get the benefit of the lower score. I scrambled to register for the exam. Just a few weeks after registering we were informed that we wouldn’t get the benefit of the lower score and that we’d have to score at least an 82.
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 exam, I spent studying the professional rules of responsibility. I made flash cards, charts, worksheets, watched videos and read books. I didn’t know if I was prepared or not, but I knew I’d tried my best.
On the day of the exam, I arrived early to the testing site. Amongst my other required materials, I had 3 major tools with me, Kleenex, cough drops, and Carmex. When I got into the building, there were about 5 other students. We had no idea where we were going. 5 eventually grew to 30. Imagine 30 students walking around a building trying to figure out what’s happening. (Yes…a mess.) Eventually, we found our check-in stations and got our room assignments.
There was nothing special about my classroom. I only remember that it was an engineering classroom and it was cold…really cold (take a jacket!)
The exam itself wasn’t extremely gruesome. It was nothing like the LSAT (which I think was TERRIBLE!). The questions were typically 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.” You know…the typical questions/answers, but nothing too difficult. (Looking back, my PR class final exam was MUCH harder than the actual MPRE…yeah.)
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 was currently taking PR and hadn’t had any previous exposure to professional responsibility scenarios. I scored much higher than what was required and now, I can sit for the bar in any state.
Here’s my advice… study. That’s it, short and sweet. There’s nothing special. Just study. Sure you might feel like you know nothing going in our coming out of the test, but if you study, hard, trust that everything else will be fine. GOOD LUCK!