The MPRE May Have An “Easy” Reputation, But Don’t Fall For It

Introducing the pièce de résistance.

What you’re up against with the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam: 60 multiple-choice questions. Ten of them will go unscored. You have two hours to complete it all. While nowhere near as long or as demanding as the bar exam, the MPRE is definitely in a category of its own.

Download the free BARBRI Bar Exam Digest for state-by-state MPRE information.

Just how hard is the MPRE?

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. And it’s a different exam format compared to law school.

Even though it has the reputation as being “easy” and “not a big deal,” you’ll want to study. Especially if you’re a 3L student with only a few more opportunities to pass it before taking the bar.

Almost every state/jurisdiction requires that you pass the MPRE for admission to the bar, so be sure you have this requirement completed.

Comparing “apples to oranges”

Many students opt to take the MPRE after completing their law school’s Professional Responsibility (PR) class. This is a good idea; however, do not rely solely on your PR class notes as a way to streamline your preparation. It won’t work well.

The MPRE tests on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, whereas 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 than the scenarios presented in the MPRE questions. To borrow a phrase, it’s “like comparing apples to oranges.”

You need to devote the study time

If you can swing a few days off work or school to study for the MPRE, do it. It’s a bar admission requirement so you’ll want to take it seriously (regardless of the exam’s reputation). Consider the free BARBRI MPRE review course. Taking a legal ethics or PR class in law school won’t guarantee a passing score. The BARBRI MPRE Review covers everything about ethics, is highly organized and always current on legal ethics information. The course has a video lecture component and a ton of practice questions.

Overall, the MPRE is an exam that requires knowledge of the rules and the application of the rules. Know that studying for one night is simply not enough. It is best to take some time off and really dive into the material. Your hard work will pay off in the long run.