What is the MPRE?
The MPRE, or the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, is one of the exams that will be required for you to be admitted to the bar. This test is the ethics portion of the bar. It is a two-hour, 60-question multiple-choice objective exam, and is administered three times per year.
What is on the MPRE?
The MPRE tests two bodies of law. One body is the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. These are the rules that govern lawyer ethics. The other is the ABA’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct. These are the rules that cover judicial ethics. The most commonly tested subjects include: regulation of the legal profession, lawyer-client relationship, client confidentiality, conflicts of interest, competence, forms of legal advocacy, communications with people other than clients, the different roles of a lawyer, safekeeping funds, advertising, lawyers’ duties to the public, and judicial conduct.
There is no national scaled passing score, although it is a national exam. Each jurisdiction decides how to treat the MPRE scaled score. MPRE scores are scaled, and range from 50 to 150, with an average of approximately 100. The exam is scaled, so it is affected by everyone who took the MPRE that day.
Purpose of the MPRE
The purpose of the MPRE is to measure examinees’ knowledge and understanding of established standards related to the professional conduct of lawyers. The MPRE is not attest to determine an individual’s personal ethical values. Lawyers serve in many capacities, such as judges, advocates, counselors, and in other roles. The law governing the conduct of lawyers in these roles is applied in disciplinary and bar admission procedures, and by courts in dealing with issues of appearance, representation, privilege, disqualification, and contempt or other censure, and in lawsuits seeking to establish liability for malpractice and other civil or criminal wrongs committed by a lawyer while acting in a professional capacity.
Preparing for the MPRE
- Create flashcards for the ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. When you create flashcards, your goal is to annotate the rules into the main rule and its exceptions. The MPRE loves to test the exceptions to the ethics rules. You need to memorize the key elements of the rules and their exceptions.
- Review MPRE-like questions to get a sense of how the MPRE tests the different rules. The more practice MPRE questions you practice; the better sense you’ll get of how the exam tests specific topics.
- Build a study plan. Building a simple study plan before the exam can help ensure that come game day, you are ready for the exam.
- Build a checklist of subjects you need to know, you should be able to build your study schedule around these subjects and be allocating your study time according to the amount each subject is tested on the MPRE.
- The law has its own language and MPRE has its own set of key words and phrases, and learning them can be the difference between being successful and having to take the exam again.
- Questions on the MPRE have a unique structure and style, unique phrasing and a certain rhythm to them that the most effective way to ensure success is to do countless practice questions.
- Seek the help of a MPRE tutor, if needed.