Friday, October 9, 2009

Preparing for the MPRE

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a multiple-choice test of legal ethics, which is required for admission to the bars of most U.S. jurisdictions. (Feel like skipping it? You’ll be limited to practicing law in Maryland, Washington, Wisconsin, or Puerto Rico. See 2009 Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements for more information.) The good news is that the MPRE can be taken at any time during law school, giving students a chance to get it out of the way long before the rest of the bar exam. The test is offered three times per year (March, August, and November). Judging by the increasing amount of questions at the Goodson Law Library about resources to study for the MPRE, we could tell that the next test is quickly approaching.

A search of the libraries’ online catalog for mpre reveals only one title, Kimm Walton’s Strategies and Tactics for the MPRE 2009 edition. The catalog record notes that the title is still “On Order”, and not yet published. Aspen is expected to release this title in November, although we can’t promise that it will arrive in time to assist takers of the November 7 exam. However, you may use the “Get this Title” link to place a hold on the title now, and you will be notified by email after it arrives and is processed by the library.

In the meantime, a few other resources may assist takers of the next exam. The MPRE 2009 Information Booklet offers 24 sample questions as well as a full listing of subjects to be tested on the exam. A 2002 past exam is also available for free, although the website cautions that “in many instances questions do not reflect the current MPRE style and format.” (A more recent past exam is available for purchase through the website.)

Simulated exam questions are also available through Patrick Longan’s book Questions & Answers: Professional Responsibility (Reserve KF306.Z9 L66 2003), a multiple-choice format study guide for legal ethics questions. Although the same caveats apply to this as to the outdated past exams on the MPRE site, some students may find the simulated questions helpful. Additional study aids on the subject of legal ethics, including Professional Responsibility in a Nutshell and Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics, may be found in the Goodson Law Library research guide to Legal Ethics. Although these resources do not provide sample MPRE questions, they may help clarify the subjects tested on the MPRE.

Finally, don’t forget about commercial bar review services, some of which include a free MPRE review booklet and/or lecture. PMBR Kaplan currently offers a free online MPRE review course which includes a study guide with sample questions. Bar/Bri also offers a review course for the MPRE, which will take place at Duke Law on Saturday, October 24. If you have already signed up for Bar/Bri’s bar review course, the MPRE session is included; separate registration is also available for $250.

Good luck to all November test-takers!