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Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam

Barbara Glesner Fines

Associate Dean & Ruby M. Hulen Professor of Law

UMKC School of Law


The MPRE & the Professional Responsibility Course


The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is NOT a law school exam or a requirement of any law school course. Most students take the MPRE in the same semester as they enroll in Professional Responsibility; however, the exam can be taken before taking the course or in semesters after completing the course. While there is a substantial overlap in subject matter between the professional responsibility course and the MPRE, the law school course is not designed as a "bar prep" course for the MPRE. Students are urged to prepare for the MPRE separately from their course preparation.

The Missouri and Kansas MPRE requirements

A passing score on the MPRE is required for admission to the Missouri and Kansas Bars and the bars of most other jurisdictions.†† According to the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners & ABA Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, a scaled score of 80 is required in both Kansas and Missouri.See that guide for information on requirements in other states, which range from 70 to 86..

The examination is given three times a year (fall, spring and summer).

For information about the exam, including test dates, subject matter coverage, instructions for registering and more, see the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

How to prepare for the MPRE?

First, read about the test at the NCBEX website. The MPRE test booklet describes the test, outlines how to register, and gives some sample questions.  It is available for free at https://actapps.act.org/mpreservices/MpreBooklet.pdf

 

Second,  Read the full text (including comments) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the  ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct.  These are available online at

http://www.abanet.org/cpr/mrpc/mrpc_toc.html and

 http://www.abanet.org/judicialethics/ABA_MCJC_approved.pdf

 

PLEASE NOTE: there is no substitute  for reading the entirety of the rules, cover to cover, rules and comments.   Reading an outline of the rules is insufficient.More students have failed the exam for ignoring this advice than for any other reason.

 

Third, if you are taking the PR course, read your PR course assignments.  While the PR course covers much that is not on the exam and doesn't cover everything that is on the exam, it covers the materials that are most difficult to understand.If you are not taking the PR course, ask questions about areas you donít understand or have a good treatise at hand.

Fourth, purchase or borrow a study guide.There are many commercial study aids you can purchase for under $50.00.Use these resources to review and fill in the blanks on issues not covered by the ABA rules, especially if you have not or are not taking the Professional Responsibility course (which covers nearly all of these issues).

Fifth, Practice, Practice, Practice. The National Conference of Bar Examiners website has an online practice exam for $35 that is very helpful. http://www.ncbex2.org/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=88

If you are planning on taking a commercial bar preparation courses like BarBri or PMB, they usually offer a discount on their MPRE preparation course (see your bar prep student representatives).

Sixth, Practice good test-taking strategies. Read the instructions for the exam you get in the mail early (so you donít wake up on the morning of the exam and discover you were supposed to have a passport-sized photo in order to take the exam).Get a good nightís sleep, arrive at the test center early, have confidence.