By Bob Cohen, BARBRI Vice President
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is a two-hour, five-minute test administered in March, August and November of each year by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. It consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, of which 50 are scored. Most states require an applicant to achieve a passing score prior to being admitted to the bar exam. The 2012-13 BARBRI Bar Exam Digest, which is available at your school’s BARBRI table and Registrar offices, lists each state’s MPRE requirement.
HOW THE SCORING WORKS
The MPRE will test your knowledge and understanding of the rules of conduct that govern the legal profession. Scaled scores range from 50 to 150 and each jurisdiction determines its own passing score. A score high enough to pass in one jurisdiction may not be high enough to pass in another.
WHEN TO TAKE THE EXAM
In some states, like New York, you can take the MPRE at any time within three years of the bar exam. In other states, such as Illinois, you are required to take the MPRE after completing your second year of law school. In Florida, you must take and pass the MPRE within 25 months of passing the bar exam. BARBRI encourages students to fulfill the MPRE requirement early in their third year of law school.
HOW TO STUDY FOR IT
Although the MPRE deals with one area of law – ethics – the questions can be complex and tricky. You won’t get by on your own good moral character alone. Prepare with the BARBRI MPRE review course that includes a four-hour lecture and approximately 20 hours of study time. In the form of outlines, lecture handouts and practice exams. This course illustrates how the bar examiners frame the ethical issues and how you should apply the law to make finite judgment calls. You develop the proper mindset that the bar examiners are looking for.
WHY AN ETHICS COURSE IS NOT ENOUGH
A common question among students is whether a law school course on Professional Responsibility should have been completed prior to taking the MPRE. It should be noted that most law school Professional Responsibility courses stress theory and problematic situations confronted by practicing attorneys. The MPRE focuses on well-established principles of law. Accordingly, a law school course on Professional Responsibility is not crucial to success on the MPRE; however, many students report that the BARBRI MPRE review course does provide a thorough review in preparation for the exam.
BARBRI encourages MPRE applicants to register early. Seat selection and city location for the exam is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The filing fee for the 2013 MPRE is $73. The late filing fee, for those who miss the initial deadline, of $146. Register for the exam and pay your filing fee online at www.ncbex.org or by visiting BARBRI.com.
The BARBRI MPRE review course is free to all law school students.