The MPRE is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. Also known as the “ethics bar” it is required for bar exam admission in most jurisdictions. It is a 2-hour and 5-minute, 60-question multiple-choice test on professional responsibility.
Here is a complete list: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Palau, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.
This year, there are three offerings of the MPRE. The first is on March 29, the second on August 9, and the third is on November 1.
You don’t need to wait until you graduate to take the MPRE.
What is kind of great about the MPRE is that you can start taking it while you are in law school. That way, if something goes wrong, you don’t have to worry too much about it; you just take a second administration of the test. Most students take the MPRE during their third or final year of law school, but I even know of some students who took it the summer between their second and third years of school. Your scores are good for multiple years, so it isn’t necessary to wait until the last moment to pass the exam. Some jurisdictions may require you to pass before you sit for the bar exam, so it is a good idea to get this done as soon as possible.
What is a passing score on the MPRE?
Each jurisdiction gets to determine what a passing score is on the MPRE. You may want to learn just how “ethical” you need to be before taking the exam, so check the individual requirements of your state. The administrator of the MPRE is the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which administers the Multistate Bar Exam and also the Uniform Bar Exam. The NCBE website is actually full of helpful information about this exam and others.
Wondering what is tested on the MPRE?
You can download this subject matter outline for free on the NCBE website. This is a great way to start off your studying, because it includes not only the scope of coverage of the questions but also the approximate percentage of items that are included in each major area. This means you can get an idea of what are the most heavily tested topic areas of the MPRE, as you sit down to study.
Is this something I should worry about now?
Well, if you are a 3L and you haven’t taken the MPRE, then, yes, you should worry about this now. If you are a 2L, you likely want to start thinking about when you are going to sit for the exam to make sure you don’t wait too long.
Although you will likely pass the MPRE with flying colors—after some studying and practice, of course—you don’t want to jeopardize your bar admission because you haven’t completed this one requirement. You want to make sure that you have time to take it again if necessary without delaying your bar admission.
Here is the situation you want to avoid. You pass the bar exam, but you haven’t passed the MPRE. You cannot then be sworn in until you pass the MPRE. And it is given only three times a year. Do you see the problem? And besides some states won’t let you sit for the bar until you pass the MPRE. Are you convinced now?
So, make a plan and set aside some time right away to get this done. You will be glad you did and it is something you can do now to make sure you are ready to be admitted to the bar when the time comes.
Do you have tips for studying for the MPRE? If so, please share them in the comments.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- 3L Bar Exam Tip: Get the MPRE Out of the Way!
- Tools for MPRE Success
- 3L Bar Exam Tips: Know Your State Bar Admission Requirements
- 3L Bar Exam Tips: Graduation Requirements and Bar Electives