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Free MPRE Lecture, by Stan Chess

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The Multistate Performance Test (the MPT) 
is comprised of three 90-minute skills questions
covering legal analysis, fact analysis, problem solving, resolution of ethical dilemmas,
organization and management of a lawyering task, and communication.

A typical MPT question may ask you to write or prepare a brief, a letter to your client,
a memorandum to your supervising attorney, a contract provision, a closing argument, 
a testamentary will, a counseling plan, a settlement proposal, a plan for discovery, 
or a plan for examining a witness.

Each question includes a File and a Library.

According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners: 

"The File consists of source documents containing all the facts of the case. The specific assignment the applicant is to complete is described in a memorandum from a supervising attorney. The File might also include, for example, transcripts of interviews, depositions, hearings or trials, pleadings, correspondence, client documents, contracts, newspaper articles, medical records, police reports, and lawyer’s notes. Relevant as well as irrelevant facts are included. Facts are sometimes ambiguous, incomplete, or even conflicting. As in practice, a client’s or supervising attorney’s version of events may be incomplete or unreliable. Applicants are expected to recognize when facts are inconsistent or missing and are expected to identify sources of additional facts.

"The Library consists of cases, statutes, regulations and rules, some of which may not be relevant to the assigned lawyering task. The applicant is expected to extract from the Library the legal principles necessary to analyze the problem and perform the task. The MPT is not a test of substantive law, and problems may arise in a variety of fields. Library materials provide sufficient substantive information to complete the task."

Each state using the exam independently grades the MPT.
Thus scores and the weight allotment of the MPT will differ from state to state.
In addition, not all states using the MPT use all three questions 
(New York, for instance, uses only one MPT question).

Next Test Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Summaries of Actual MPTs -- 1997-2002 

Actual MPTs and Point Sheets
as released by the National Conference of Bar Examiners

(in PDF format)

February 1998 MPT 1, MPT 2 and Point Sheets

July 1998 MPT 1, MPT 2  and Point Sheets 

February 1997 MPT 1

February 1997 MPT 2

July 1997 MPT 1

July 1997 MPT 2

1997 Point Sheets

MPT Instructions

1. You will have 90 minutes to complete this session of the examination. This performance test is designed to evaluate your ability to handle a select number of legal authorities in the context of a factual problem involving a client.

2. The problem is set in the fictitious state of Franklin, in the fictitious Fifteenth Circuit of the United States. In Franklin, the trial court of general jurisdiction is the District Court, the intermediate appellate court is the Court of Appeal, and the highest court is the Supreme Court.

3. You will have two kinds of materials with which to work: a File and a Library. The first document in the File is a memorandum containing the instructions for the task you are to complete. The other documents in the File contain factual information about your case and may also include some facts that are not relevant.

4. The Library contains the legal authorities needed to complete the task and may also include some authorities that are not relevant. Any cases may be real, modified, or written solely for the purpose of this examination. If the cases appear familiar to you, do not assume that they are precisely the same as you have read before. Read them thoroughly, as if all were new to you. You should assume that cases were decided in the jurisdictions and on the dates shown. In citing cases from the Library, you may use abbreviations and omit page references.

5. Your response must be written in the answer book provided. In answering this performance test, you should concentrate on the materials provided. What you have learned in law school and elsewhere provides the general background for analyzing the problem; the File and Library provide the specific materials with which you must work.

6. Although there are no restrictions on how you apportion your time, you should be sure to allocate ample time (about 45 minutes) to reading and digesting the materials and to organizing your answer before you begin writing it. You may make notes anywhere in the test materials; blank pages are provided at the end of the booklet. You may not tear pages from the question booklet.

7. This performance test will be graded on your responsiveness to the instructions regarding the task you are to complete, which are given to you in the first memorandum in the File, and on the content, thoroughness, and organization of your response.

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