The bar exam is the most important test of a law student’s life, but it’s hardly the only one. For admittance to the bar, you’ll most likely have to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) prior to sitting down for the big one.
The MPRE, a two-hour exam comprised of 60 multi-choice questions, is required in every U.S. jurisdiction except Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. It serves as the ethics portion of the bar exam and measures the professionalism of prospective lawyers. The MPRE is offered three times throughout the year: March, August, and November.
What Are The Best Resources For The MPRE?
Because of its length and the misperception that answers on an ethics exam should be "common sense," the MPRE is often overlooked by students. It shouldn’t be, however. Not only is the material relevant to practicing law, adequately preparing for the MPRE can set a positive chain reaction in motion. Consider passing the MPRE the first step in passing the bar.
There are quality resources to help you do just that.
Like the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), the MPRE is administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). NCBEX.org is a great place to start to familiarize yourself with the MPRE. The website offers basic information about the exam, including key words and phrases to know. It also has 15 MPRE practice questions, such as the following:
An attorney worked in the legal department of a public utility company and represented that company in litigation. The company was sued by a consumer group which alleged that the company was guilty of various acts in violation of its charter. Through its general counsel, the company instructed the attorney not to negotiate a settlement but to go to trial under any circumstances since a precedent needed to be established. Although the company’s defense could be supported by a good faith argument, the attorney believed that the case should be settled if possible.
Must the attorney withdraw as counsel in this case?
(A) No, because as an employee, the attorney is bound by the instructions of the general counsel
(B) No, because the company’s defense can be supported by a good faith argument (Correct)
(C) Yes, because a lawyer should endeavor to avoid litigation.
(D) Yes, because the company is controlling the attorney’s judgment in settling the case.
Once you run through the basics and answer a few practice questions, consider bolstering your MPRE prep by enrolling in Pieper’s Free MPRE Course.
This gives you a glimpse of the Pieper method, while offering comprehensive resources to help you pass the MPRE:
- Access to John Pieper’s step-by-step lecture on passing the MPRE, either in person or on demand
- A complete outline of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct
- A complete outline of the ABA Model Rules of Judicial Conduct
- Hundreds of examples & MPRE practice questions
- Three simulated MPRE exams
- Comprehensive analytical answers
- A list of mnemonics to assist you with remembering important details tested on the exam
Getting all of that for free is a great deal. Adding in the flexibility of study is even better. You can complete course material at your own pace, although we recommend you begin studying for the MPRE at least three to four weeks prior to the exam.
Other Helpful MPRE Notes
Most students tend to take the August MPRE between their second and third year of law school.
By that time, they’ll have completed a Professional Responsibility course* and can adequately prepare for the MPRE without overlapping with a course load. Besides, if you fail in August, you'll have two more opportunities to pass the MPRE (November and/or March) before the school year concludes.
Once you’ve picked a test date, employ these best practices:
- Review notes from your Professional Responsibility course, and try to take the MPRE as close to its completion as possible
- Study practice questions for the MPRE through the NCBE
- Enroll in a free MPRE prep course, such as the one offered by Pieper
*Connecticut and New Jersey accept completion of a Professional Responsibility course in lieu of a passing score on the MPRE