mpreThe Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (“MPRE”) is a two-hour, 60-question multiple-choice examination developed by National Conference of Bar Examiners (“NCBE”). Fifty of the questions are “scored”; 10 are unscored pretest questions (which are indistinguishable from the scored questions.) MPRE scores are reported on a scale ranging from 50 (low) to 150 (high). Scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly; points are not subtracted for incorrect answers. The NCBE administers the MPRE three times per year, usually in March, August, and November.

Subject Matter

The MPRE is based on the law governing the conduct and discipline of lawyers and judges, including the disciplinary rules of professional conduct currently articulated in the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, and controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles established in leading federal and state cases and in procedural and evidentiary rules. Amendments to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct or the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct will be reflected in the examination no earlier than one year after the approval of the amendments by the American Bar Association.

Questions 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 and apply the majority view 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 apply, unless otherwise stated. As a general rule, particular local statutes or rules of court will not be tested on the MPRE; however, a specific question may include the text of a local statute or rule that must be considered when answering that question.

For the subject matter of the MPRE, see the NCBE’s MPRE Subject Matter Outline. For a list of key words and phrases included in MPRE questions, see the NCBE’s MPRE Key Words and Phrases.

The MPRE in Louisiana

la-sealThe MPRE is required for admission to the Louisiana bar. See Louisiana Supreme Court, Committee on Bar Admissions, MPRE Page. Louisiana requires a scaled score of 80 or higher on the MPRE. (Other states require scores between 75-85.) A passing score for the MPRE is valid in Louisiana for a period of five years from the date of the examination. However, an applicant who has been admitted to the bar of another state after passing the MPRE and who has complied with the continuing legal education requirements of the applicant’s state of admission will be considered to have satisfied the requirement.

MPRE Registration

To register for the examination, visit the NCBE site here: MPRE Registration.

MPRE Preparation: Mindmaps and Videos

I have prepared “mindmaps” outlining the substantive law tested on the MPRE. They are available for download (PDF) here: Ciolino MPRE Mindmaps.

I have recorded five MPRE preparation videos, which are posted on YouTube and linked below. The total run time for all of these videos is approximately 2.5 hours. These videos are keyed to the mindmaps linked above, so please download the mindmaps first and have them handy when you view the videos.

  1. Introduction and Lawyer Regulation.
  2. The Lawyer-Client Relationship; Duties of Competence, Diligence, Confidentiality, and Loyalty; Conflicts of Interest.
  3. The Business of Lawyering: Law Firms, Advertising, Solicitation, Fields of Practice, and Law Firm Names.
  4. Lawyer Roles: Counselor; Advocate; Dealing with Third Persons; and Public Servant.
  5. Judicial Ethics.

Other MPRE preparation resources, including practice questions, are available on the NCBE site: MPRE Preparation Resources.