The MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam) is a 2-hour exam consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions that test the examinee’s knowledge and understanding of established standards of the professional conduct of lawyers.
The MPRE is written and administered by the NCBE (National Conference of Bar Examiners). Questions are based on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, controlling constitutional decisions, and generally accepted principles from federal and state cases and procedural and evidentiary rules.
Find an outline of subject matter covered on the MPRE here.
As of the March 2020 exam, all exams are computer-based in designated testing centers.
Most likely yes. Every jurisdiction in the United States requires that you take the MPRE in order to be a licensed attorney except for Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. Additionally, Connecticut and New Jersey accept successful completion of a law school course on professional responsibility in lieu of a passing score on the MPRE.
We recommend that you take the MPRE during your 2L year (either during fall or winter semester). If you are unable to do so, we strongly recommend that you take the MPRE in the fall semester of your 3L year to provide you the option of a retake in the spring of your 3L year if necessary.
You are not required to take Professional Responsibility before taking the MPRE. However, we strongly recommend that you have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Professional Responsibility when you take the MPRE.
It depends on the jurisdiction. Check www.ncbex.org to see if your jurisdiction allows you to take the MPRE after the Bar Exam. However, we strongly recommend you take the MPRE prior to taking the Bar Exam.
The MPRE is offered 3 times per year—generally in March, August, and November. For 2022, the MPRE test administrations are March 23 or 24, August 10 or 11, and November 14 or 15.
The MPRE is administered at over 300 test center locations, and you can take the MPRE in whatever location is most convenient for you. During the application process you will specify which jurisdiction you would like your score sent to and can order additional score reports later if needed. Available test centers will be listed once you begin your registration.
Registration closes approximately two months before the test date. MPRE registration is a multi-step process that involves a verification step, so students should anticipate registration, scheduling, and payment to occur over at least two days. It is probably not possible to begin and end registration on the last day it is open, so students should plan ahead.
NOTE: If you intend to apply for a test accommodation for the MPRE, you must do so and receive a determination before registering for the exam. NCBE recommends applying for needed accommodations 3-4 months before the preferred test date.
Register online at www.ncbex.org.
Registration costs $150.00 and must be paid by debit or credit card.
The MPRE is not an easy exam or an exam based on common sense. Nearly 25% of examinees score at or below a 70, which is a failing score in even the most lenient jurisdictions. Plan to invest the recommended 15-20 hours of study to pass the first time so you do not have to spend more time, money, and effort on a retake.
Students should not rely exclusively on NCBE’s materials for their MPRE preparation. NCBE is the organization that creates the MPRE and is not a commercial company; as a result, NCBE offers very limited study materials. Specifically, NCBE does not offer lectures or outlines, and simply provides a 1-page subject matter outline of subjects that will be tested, 15 sample questions, a 1-page list of key words and phrases (which all students taking the MPRE should review). Two 60-question practice exams are also available for students to take for $60.00 each.
Find NCBE’s list of key words and phrases here.
Find NCBE’s sample exam questions here.
Students should plan to invest at least 15-20 hours of study in preparation for the MPRE.
Several of the commercial bar preparation companies offer free, comprehensive MPRE courses to law students. These courses are offered online and on-demand, and are usually available about a month before the test date. (You do not have to be registered for the MPRE exam to enroll in a course). The courses generally include a 3-4 hour lecture, an outline, practice questions and/or flashcards, and 2-4 practice exams. Practice exams are online, and you will receive graded feedback immediately. Most of the MPRE courses offer explanations for the answer to each question; some also show where you made an error and identify areas of weakness where you need to spend more time studying.
It is not necessary to sign up for multiple courses. However, students should review the study materials posted by NCBE to supplement their study. Students are not required to register with NCBE in order to access the MPRE study materials with the exception of the practice tests, which students must pay $60 to access.
In addition, some students may choose to add a subscription-based course like Quimbee, in order to have access to additional practice questions, watch other lectures, see other outlines, etc. BYU Law School has purchased a Quimbee subscription for each student, so there is no cost to BYU Law Students for the Quimbee MPRE course. The Quimbee course can be taken at any time during the year.
See the “MPRE Preparation Options” handout for a comparison of the different course options. Select the one that will work best for you.
It depends on the jurisdiction. The MPRE is scored on a scale of 50-150 and each jurisdiction sets its own passing score. Utah and California, for example, require a score of 86.
Check www.ncbex.org to see specific jurisdiction passing scores.
- Question 1:
An attorney represented the wife in an acrimonious divorce proceeding involving issues of property division and child custody. After one day of trial, the husband, through his lawyer, made a settlement offer. The proposed settlement required that the wife’s attorney agree not to represent the wife in any subsequent proceeding, brought by either party, to modify or enforce the provisions of the decree. The wife wanted to accept the offer, and her attorney reasonably believed that it was in the wife’s best interest to do so because the settlement offer was better than any potential award to the wife resulting from the case going to judgement. Consequently, the attorney recommended to the wife that she accept the offer. Was it proper for the wife’s attorney to recommend that the wife accept the settlement offer?
- (A) No, because the attorney did not obtain the wife’s informed consent to the conflict of interest created by the proposed settlement.
- (B) No, because the proposed settlement restricted the attorney’s right to represent the wife in the future.
- (C) Yes, because the restriction on the attorney was limited to subsequent proceedings in the same matter.
- (D) Yes, because the attorney reasonably believed that it was in the wife’s best interest to accept the proposed settlement.
- Question 2:
An experienced oil and gas developer asked an attorney to represent him in a suit to establish the developer’s ownership of certain oil and gas royalties. The developer did not have available the necessary funds to pay the attorney’s reasonable hourly rate for undertaking the case and proposed instead that, if he prevailed in the lawsuit, he would pay the attorney 20% of the first year’s royalties recovered in the suit. Twenty percent of the first year’s royalties would likely exceed the amount that the attorney would have received from charging his regular hourly rate. The attorney accepted the proposal.
Is the attorney subject to discipline?
- (A) Yes, because the agreement gave the attorney a proprietary interest in the developer’s cause of action.
- (B) Yes, because the fee was likely to exceed the amount that the attorney would have received from charging his regular hourly rate.
- (C) No, because the developer rather than the attorney proposed the fee arrangement.
- (D) No, because the attorney may contract with the developer for a reasonable contingent fee.
- Question 3:
An attorney represents a company that produces chemical products. Some of the waste products of the company’s manufacturing processes are highly toxic and are reasonably certain to cause substantial bodily harm if disposed of improperly. The president of the company recently informed the attorney that a new employee mistakenly disposed of the waste products in the ground behind the company plant, an area that is part of the source of the city’s water supply. The attorney advised the president that, although the conduct was criminal, the company could be civilly liable for negligence in lawsuits brought by any persons harmed by the waste products. The attorney advised the president to immediately report the problem to the city authorities. Fearful of adverse publicity, the president declined to do so. The attorney further advised the president that she believed the president’s decision was immoral. The president continued to decline to report the matter. The attorney then informed the president that she was withdrawing from the representation and would inform the authorities herself. Immediately after withdrawing, the attorney reported the company’s conduct to the authorities. Is the attorney subject to discipline?
- (A) Yes, because the information was given to the attorney in confidence and may not be revealed without the client’s consent.
- (B) Yes, because the company’s conduct was not criminal.
- (C) No, because the attorney reasonably believed that the company’s disposal of the waste products was reasonably certain to cause substantial bodily harm.
- (D) No, because the attorney reasonably believed that the president was pursuing an imprudent course of conduct.