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The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (the MPRE) 
is a 60-question multiple-choice exam (including 10 questions that don't count for your score) 
given three times a year -- in March, in August, and in November.

Almost every state requires that you pass the MPRE prior to your admission to the bar. 
Yet you do not take the MPRE as part of your regular bar exam.  
Most candidates take the MPRE during their second or third year of law school.

In addition, you may sit for the exam at any location.
Thus, if you live in California, attend law school in Ithaca, New York, and plan to take the Florida bar exam,
you can fly to Houston (if you choose to) or anyplace else for the exam.

The MPRE is not a test of whether you're ethical.  
It is instead a test of whether you understand standards governing the conduct of lawyers and judges.

These standards, as tested by the MPRE, are based primarily 
on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct.  
The MPRE also requires your knowledge of "controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles 
established in leading federal and state cases and in procedural and evidentiary rules."

MPRE questions generally involve a fact pattern, followed by a question and four possible answers.
You have two hours and five minutes -- two hours to answer the 50 MPRE questions,
and five minutes to answer 10 additional questions about the exam site and the testing conditions 
(e.g., How was the parking?  Was the lighting okay?).
The two-hour allotment will give you about two and a half minutes for each MPRE question.  
By comparison, you will have three hours to answer 100 questions on the Multistate Bar Exam (the MBE).  
This comes out to only about one minute and 45 seconds per question on the MBE.

BarPlus recommends the Free MPRE Lecture, taught by Stan Chess

Stan Chess, the President of LawTV, taught Professional Responsibility and other subjects 
in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, Florida, and more than 30 other states 
for Bar/Bri bar review over a period of 22 years. 
He has prepared more than 250,000 law students and law school graduates 
for the MPRE, final exams, and the bar exam.

Free MPRE Course, Click Here

MPRE Passing Score, by Jurisdiction*

Alabama (75)
Alaska (80)
Arizona (85)
Arkansas (85)
California (85)
Colorado (85)
Connecticut (80)
Delaware (85)
District of Columbia (75)
Florida (80)
Georgia (75)
Guam (80)
Hawaii (85)

Idaho (85)
Illinois (80)
Indiana (80)
Iowa (80)
Kansas (80)
Kentucky (75)
Louisiana (80)
Maine (80)
Massachusetts (85)
Michigan (85)
Minnesota (85)
Mississippi (75)
Missouri (80)

Montana (80)
Nebraska (85)
Nevada (85)
New Hampshire (79)
New Jersey (75)
New Mexico (75)
New York (85)
North Carolina (80)
North Dakota (80)
Northern Mariana Islands (75)
Ohio (85)
Oklahoma (75)
Oregon (85)

Pennsylvania (75)
Rhode Island (80)
South Carolina (77)
South Dakota (75)
Tennessee (75)
Texas (85)
Utah (86)
Vermont (80)
Virginia (85)
Virgin Islands (75)
West Virginia (75)
Wyoming (75)

*Many jurisdictions have restrictions on the MPRE, such as when you must take the exam for it to be accepted.  
Check with your specific state by clicking here.

Upcoming Test Dates:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday, March  , 2010

Friday, August  , 2010

Filing Deadlines & Application Details

MPRE Subject-Matter Outlines

As Prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners

The following subject matter outline indicates the examination's scope of coverage and the approximate percentage of items that are included in each major area. The outline is not intended to list every aspect of a topic mentioned. Although the test items for each MPRE are developed from these categories, each topic is not necessarily tested on each examination.

    1. Regulation of the Legal Profession (6-12%)
      1. Powers of Courts and Other Bodies to Regulate Lawyers 
      2. Admission to the Profession
      3. Regulation after Admission--Lawyer Discipline
      4. Mandatory and Permissive Reporting of Professional Misconduct
      5. Unauthorized Practice of Law--by Lawyers and Nonlawyers
      6. Multi-jurisdictional Practice
      7. Fee Division with a NonLawyer
      8. Law Firm and Other Forms of Practice
      9. Responsibilities of Partners, Managers, Supervisory and Subordinate Lawyers
      10. Restrictions on Right to Practice
    2. The Client-Lawyer Relationship (10-16%)
      1. Formation of Client-Lawyer Relationship 
      2. Scope, Objective, and Means of the Representation
      3. Decision-making Authority--Actual and Apparent
      4. Counsel and Assistance Within the Bounds of the Law
      5. Termination of the Client-Lawyer Relationship
      6. Client-Lawyer Contracts
      7. Communications with the Client
      8. Fees
    3. Client Confidentiality (6-12%)
      1. Attorney-Client Privilege
      2. Work Product Doctrine
      3. Professional Obligation of Confidentiality--General Rule 
      4. Disclosures Expressly or Impliedly Authorized by Client
      5. Other Exceptions to the Confidentiality Rule
    4. Conflicts of Interest (12-18%)
      1. Current Client Conflicts--Multiple Clients and Joint Representation
      2. Current Client Conflicts--Lawyer's Personal Interest or Duties
      3. Former Client Conflicts
      4. Prospective Client Conflicts
      5. Imputed Conflicts
      6. Acquiring an Interest in Litigation
      7. Business Transactions with Clients
      8. Third Party Compensation and Influence
      9. Lawyers Currently or Formerly in Government Service
      10. Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Third Party Neutral 
    5. Competence, Legal Malpractice, and Other Civil Liability (6-12%)
      1. Maintaining Competence
      2. Competence Necessary to Undertake Representation
      3. Exercising Diligence and Care
      4. Civil Liability to Client, Including Malpractice
      5. Civil Liability to Nonclients
      6. Limiting Liability for Malpractice
      7. Malpractice Insurance and Risk Prevention
    6. Litigation and Other Forms of Advocacy (10-16%)
      1. Meritorious Claims and Contentions
      2. Expediting Litigation
      3. Candor to the Tribunal
      4. Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel 
      5. Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal
      6. Trial Publicity
      7. Lawyer as Witness
    7. Transactions and Communications with Persons Other than Clients (2-8%)
      1. Truthfulness in Statements to Others
      2. Communications with Represented Persons
      3. Communications with Unrepresented Persons
      4. Respect for Rights of Third Persons
    8. Different Roles of the Lawyer (4-10%)
      1. Lawyer as Advisor
      2. Lawyer as Evaluator
      3. Lawyer as Negotiator
      4. Lawyer as Arbitrator, Mediator, or Other Third Party Neutral
      5. Prosecutors and Other Government Lawyers
      6. Lawyer Appearing in Nonadjudicative Proceeding
      7. Lawyer Representing an Entity or Other Organization
    9. Safekeeping Funds and Other Property (2-8%)
      1. Establishing and Maintaining Client Trust Accounts
      2. Safekeeping Funds and Other Property of Clients
      3. Safekeeping Funds and Other Property of Third Persons
      4. Disputed Claims
    10. Communication About Legal Services (4-10%)
      1. Advertising and Other Public Communications about Legal Services 
      2. Solicitation--Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
      3. Group Legal Services
      4. Referrals 
      5. Communications Regarding Fields of Practice and Specialization
    11. Lawyers' Duties to the Public and the Legal System (2-4%)
      1. Voluntary Pro Bono Service
      2. Accepting Appointments
      3. Serving in Legal Services Organizations
      4. Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests
      5. Criticism of Judges and Adjudicating Officials
      6. Political Contributions to Obtain Engagements or Appointments
      7. Improper Influence on Government Officials
      8. Assisting Judicial Misconduct
    12. Judicial Ethics (2-8%)
      1. Maintaining the Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary
      2. Performing the Duties of Judicial Office Impartially, Competently and Diligently 
      3. Ex Parte Communications
      4. Disqualification
      5. Extrajudicial Activities


MPRE Directions
As Provided by the National Conference of Bar Examiners

The purpose of the NCBE Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is to measure the examinee's knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer's professional conduct; thus, the MPRE is not a test to determine an individual's personal ethical values. Lawyers serve in many capacities: for example, as judges, as advocates, as counselors, and in other roles. The law governing the conduct of lawyers in these roles is applied in disciplinary and bar admission procedures, and by courts in dealing with issues of appearance, representation, privilege, disqualification, contempt, or other censure, and in lawsuits seeking to establish liability for malpractice and other civil or criminal wrongs committed by a lawyer while acting in a professional capacity.

The law governing the conduct of lawyers is based on the disciplinary rules of professional conduct currently articulated in the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, as well as controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles established in leading federal and state cases and in procedural and evidentiary rules.

The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice test items. These test items are followed by 10 Test Center Review items that request the examinee's reactions to the testing conditions. The examination is two hours and five minutes in length.

Test items covering judicial ethics measure applications of the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC). Other items will deal with discipline of lawyers by state disciplinary authorities; in these items, the correct answer will be governed by the current ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC). The remaining items, 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; in these items, the correct answer will be governed by the view reflected in a majority of cases, statutes, or regulations on the subject. To the extent that questions of professional responsibility arise in the context of procedural or evidentiary issues, such as the availability of litigation sanctions or the scope of the attorney-client evidentiary privilege, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence will be assumed to apply, unless otherwise stated.

As a general rule, particular local statutes or rules of court will not be tested in the MPRE. However, a specific test question may include the text of a local statute or rule that must be considered when answering that question. Amendments to the MRPC or CJC will be reflected in the examination no earlier than one year after the approval of the amendments by the American Bar Association.

The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct are available on the American Bar Association's website. Hard copies can be obtained by calling the ABA service center at 800-285-2221. The ABA is located at 750 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60611 (312-988-5522).

The Use of Key Words and Phrases on the MPRE

Each question contained in the MPRE provides a factual situation along with a specific question and four possible answer choices. Examinees should pick the best answer from the four possible answer choices.

Each question may include one of the following key words or phrases:
  1. "Subject to discipline" asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer to discipline under the provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. In the case of a judge, the test question also asks whether the judge would be subject to discipline under the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct.
  2. "May" or "proper" asks whether the conduct referred to or described in the question is professionally appropriate in that it:
    • a. would not subject the lawyer or judge to discipline; and
    • b. is not inconsistent with the Preamble, Comments, or text of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct or the ABA Code of Judicial Conduct; and
    • c. is not inconsistent with generally accepted principles of the law of lawyering.
  3. "Subject to litigation sanction" asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer or the lawyer’s law firm to sanction by a tribunal such as contempt, fine, fee forfeiture, disqualification, or other sanction.
  4. "Subject to disqualification" asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer or the lawyer’s law firm to disqualification as counsel in a civil or criminal matter.
  5. "Subject to civil liability" asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer or the lawyer’s law firm to civil liability, such as claims arising from malpractice, misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty.
  6. "Subject to criminal liability" asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer to criminal liability for participation in, or aiding and abetting, criminal acts, such as prosecution for insurance and tax fraud, destruction of evidence, or obstruction of justice.
  7. When a question refers to discipline by the "bar," "state bar," or "appropriate disciplinary authority," it refers to the agency in the jurisdiction with the authority to administer the standards for admission to practice and for maintenance of professional competence and integrity. Whenever a lawyer is identified as a "certified specialist," that lawyer has been so certified by the appropriate agency in the jurisdiction in which the lawyer practices.

For an MPRE application:

National Conference of Bar Examiners
MPRE Application Department
301 ACT Drive
PO Box 4001
Iowa City, IA 52243-4001
Phone: 319-341-2500

TDD for Persons With Hearing Impairments:
319-337-1701 (must call from a TDD)

Email: BarPlus@lawtv.com
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