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The MPRE: The What, Why, How, and When of the Exam

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

If you thought becoming a lawyer was easy, think again. Gaining admission to the bar is more than just law school and the infamous bar exam -- you also need to pass the MPRE. The what? The MPRE -- it stands for Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, and you need a passing score.

Well, almost (there are always exceptions, right?). If you plan to practice in Maryland, Wisconsin, and/or Puerto Rico, the MPRE is not required for admission to the bar.

So What Is It?

The MPRE is an exam that, like the name indicates, measures your "knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer's professional conduct." Basically, you'll be tested on your knowledge of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct and the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. Compared to the bar exam it's easy, with only 60 questions with two hours to answer them all. For a better idea of what you'll be tested on, check out the MPRE Subject Matter Outline.

Why Do You Need to Take It?

Because of the ethical obligations we must meet as attorneys, it's imperative that we understand the codes of ethics that regulate our conduct.

How to Study for It?

Studying for the MPRE is not nearly as extensive as studying for the bar, but you do need to study. There are free resources online, you can take sample test questions, or a Kaplan course -- it all depends on your time and budget.

When to Take It?

The MPRE is offered several times a year, but the safest best is to take it during your third year of law school -- usually in March and November. Though there is a test offered in the summer, you should use the summer to focus on the bar exam. For those of you who took the MPRE in March, your results will be released tomorrow -- best of luck!

Remember, each state has different requirements for bar admissions. To find out exactly what is required for your state, visit your state's bar admission website.

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