Overview of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination

Most law students take professional responsibility during their third year of law school. However, this class is not meant to prepare you specifically for the MPRE, but rather to provide you an opportunity to consider the professional responsibilities and ethical dilemmas that practicing attorneys deal with on a daily basis..

The purpose of the NCBE’s Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (‘MPRE’)  is specifically to measure an examinee’s knowledge and understanding of accepted and established standards relating to the professional conduct of lawyers, as established by the law governing the conduct of lawyers, including, but not limited to  the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct. This is not an examination testing individual morals or personal ethics, but rather the accepted and established standards.

The MPRE itself consists of 60 multiple-choice questions given over a two-hour period. Of the 60 questions on the exam, 50 are scored and 10 questions are unscored.

The passing scores for jurisdictions range from 75-86, and scores on the MPRE range from 50-150. Georgia, for example, requires a 75. Each state varies not only in their requirements for score attainment, but also for how long a score may be used. In Georgia, for example, scores do not have an expiration.

The MPRE is administered three times per year: March, August, and November.

Many students choose to take it in November of their 3L year during the same semester when they take the required course in professional responsibility, or in the next administration the following semester. We generally advise that a student not take the exam prior to their 3L year, unless they have adequate preparation time utilizing available resources, including outline overviews, practice tests, and video lectures. For student convenience, the school has partnered with Kaplan for free MPRE resources. Review outlines are also available in the AABS offices. For more information about the MPRE, please visit the NCBE website or review this multi-part article (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) on preparing for the MPRE written by the Assistant Dean of AABS, Scot Goins.