Bar Exam Basics: The MPRE
Professional Responsibility is perhaps not every law student’s favorite subject. It does not add anything to a lawyer’s substantive toolbox. No lawyer practices the “Law of Professional Responsibility.” As law students know, it has to with ethics and doing what is proper in the course of practicing law.
To ensure that everyone who obtains a license to practice law is more than a little familiar with these ethics, every bar examinee and bar applicant must take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) for admission to a state bar.
The MPRE is required for admission to the bars of all but two U.S. jurisdictions, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. For applicants to be admitted to the California State Bar, they must pass both the California Bar Exam and the MPRE.
The MPRE tests applicants on the rules of professional conduct currently contained in the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The MPRE also tests on the law regulating the conduct of attorneys contained in controlling constitutional decisions, as well as generally accepted principles established in federal and state cases.
Questions outside the disciplinary context are designed to measure an understanding of the generally accepted rules, principles, and common law regulating the legal profession in the United States while applying the majority view of cases, statutes, or regulations on the subject.
Generally, specific local statutes or rules of court will not be tested on the MPRE. However, a specific question may include the hypothetical or actual text of a statute or rule that an examinee must consider when answering a question.
Applicants should assume the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence apply to a given question unless otherwise stated whenever a question of professional responsibility arises in the context of procedural or evidentiary issues, i.e., the availability of sanctions or the scope of the attorney-client evidentiary privilege.
The NCBE provides online access to instructions for the MPRE, a subject matter outline for the topics covered on the exam, and sample MPRE questions. Keywords and phrases on the MPRE may also be found on the NCBE/MPRE website. An online practice exam for the MPRE is available for purchase at the NCBE’s online store.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners administers the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam three times annually. The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, and applicants are given two (2) hours to complete the exam. Late arrivals will not be admitted to the test center!
CDTA teaches students soft skills and hard skills. It is the former that allows graduates to operate a law practice as a business successfully. We incorporate an ethical analysis into mastering soft skills. The CDTA emphasizes soft skills as an important component of achieving academic and professional goals. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.