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bigs5068

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MPRE Questions?
« on: March 02, 2011, 04:48:21 PM »
I have to take the MPRE in a few months and nobody seems to provide much information about how to prepare for it. I am taking professional responsibility, but apparently there is some rule that the ABA does not allow the professor to teach you how to pass the MPRE. So for anyone who has taken it what steps did you take and what was helpful. Also how difficult was it? Is it like a typical law school final or less intense more intense. Basically I have gotten very little information from the bar website or my school and I don't even know the exact questions to ask. Any assistance woudl be appreciated.

john4040

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 09:46:53 PM »
I have to take the MPRE in a few months and nobody seems to provide much information about how to prepare for it. I am taking professional responsibility, but apparently there is some rule that the ABA does not allow the professor to teach you how to pass the MPRE. So for anyone who has taken it what steps did you take and what was helpful. Also how difficult was it? Is it like a typical law school final or less intense more intense. Basically I have gotten very little information from the bar website or my school and I don't even know the exact questions to ask. Any assistance woudl be appreciated.

Are you doing Barbri for the bar exam?  If so, the MPRE portion of Barbri is free.  I used the Barbri outline, studied for no more than 25 hours, and took the exam.  Got a 118.  It's nothing to be afraid of.  You will generally be stuck between two answers -- choose the one that is less "nice" (Always remember the difference between ethics and professionalism.  Ethics define a baseline standard of conduct to which attorneys MUST conform.  A violation of ethics will subject you to punishment in the form of sanctions, suspension, or disbarment.  Professionalism is a standard of "good conduct" above and beyond ethics.  There is no punishment, other than disdain in the legal community, for not being professional.  As an attorney, it is your duty to be ethical.  You have absolutely no duty to be professional.)

Let me give you a quick example of some notes I took to illustrate this point:
Client says to you “I’m going to blow the other party's head off.”  Do you have a duty to disclose?  Never have a duty; the rule says may – if you reasonably believe that reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm will result, you may disclose.
  • Remember that even if death or substantial bodily harm is reasonably certain to result, there is still no duty to disclose under the rules – notice the words “may reveal information” in Rule 1.6



I have some special materials.  I graduated in 2009 and they might be outdated.  You can have them if you want.

BikePilot

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2011, 10:59:00 AM »
First, the MPRE is stupidly easy, you could probably pass it just based on a little common sense.  It is nothing like a law school final - it is all multiple choice.  There's not a penalty for getting questions wrong and the required scores are so low that I think you only need to know 25% of the answers and you can guess on the rest (check the math, but its something like that).  Make sure you do the basic administrative stuff right and observe all the rules (filling in the boxes, spelling your name correctly etc) - this is probably the hardest thing about the test.

As for studying it is helpful to know the model rules half-way well, hopefully you've learned about conflicts and stuff in professional responsibility.  Barbri and Kaplan were handing out free materials at my law school before the MPRE.  I grabbed one of their books and spent half of the day before the test studying it and doing some practice questions and that was way too much studying as it turned out (needed 80 points or something like that, got about 140 iirc).  I think I used the free kaplan book, but don't remember for sure.  It was purple and about 3/8" thick.

Don't be surprised if some questions are poorly written and have no correct answer or two correct answers.  I found it not to be the highest quality test in the world, but it doesn't matter really as the standards are so incredibly low, just don't let it blow your concentration.

Unlike the lsat and to some extent the bar exam, there isn't much time pressure.  I don't remember the number of questions and time allotted right now, but I'm not a fast test-taker and I finished way, way early - I want to say in about half the time allotted and the room was half-empty by then so I wasn't anomalous (though admittedly the sample was not normal as the test was on campus and there were a lot of students from my school there who are all generally good test takers).

Two rules of thumb that were suggested to me and seem generally correct are
1. when it doubt, screw the lawyer
2. pick the second-most ethical answer.
HLS 2010

jack24

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2011, 12:36:38 PM »
Bike Pilot's advice is spot on, but he's also probably a genius.  I do know some half-way smart people who failed the MPRE, but they didn't really prepare at all.  Read through an outline one or two times and take at least 4 practice tests and you should be fine.

Specks

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2011, 04:06:47 PM »
Depending on the state you are taking the bar for, the MPRE requirements differ. But CA, one of the highest numbers only require that you get a little less than half of the questions right. Keeping that in mind, I only studied for about five hours for my test and got something like 120. Not super high, but still way above what you need to pass. (I was pretty sure I was gonna fail but I'd stacked too many deadlines on to allot enough time to study)

Bike Pilot is spot on. Just pick up a Kaplan or BarBri book and do the practice questions/read the explanations. Having taken a PR class, passing this shouldn't be too hard.

Jhuen_the_bird

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 10:55:34 AM »
I was already signed up for Bar/Bri, so I took their Saturday morning prep class for the MPRE.  I think if you've paid, like, $150 towards Bar/Bri the class is free.  They give you some materials and you go through an outline while they lecture to you.  I did that (while hungover from a Halloween part the night before).  That week I read through the short outline a couple times, and took 1 1/2 practice tests (they are soooo boring).  I got a high enough score to pass.  You don't really have to do THAT well to "pass" the MPRE.

Morten Lund

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 12:44:17 PM »
the MPRE is stupidly easy

Indeed it is, assuming you have a reasonable degree of facility with standardized tests.  I think I spent a few hours with a free online practice exam in specific preparation for the MPRE.

BUT - I was just coming off the bar exam (and BARBRI) at the time, which laid the foundation.  If you are not also studying for the bar, then the MPRE could be quite a bit more difficult.  The ethics portion of the bar exam is far more difficult than the MPRE, so if you are prepared for the bar exam then all you need is familiarity with the MPRE format.  If you are not studying for the bar, you will need quite a bit more substantive preparation.

That said, it is still a test, and an important test at that.  So take it seriously.  There are plenty of practice tests available online and elsewhere, so you should be able to quickly get a gauge of whether the test will be a challenge or not.

Good luck.

john4040

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 02:01:06 PM »
The ethics portion of the bar exam is far more difficult than the MPRE, so if you are prepared for the bar exam then all you need is familiarity with the MPRE format.

Must be some weird California, Wisconsin, or old-timer thing.  ;oP

Morten Lund

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 02:17:23 PM »
The ethics portion of the bar exam is far more difficult than the MPRE, so if you are prepared for the bar exam then all you need is familiarity with the MPRE format.

Must be some weird California, Wisconsin, or old-timer thing.  ;oP

Probably all of the above...  :)

But are there states that don't test professional responsibility?  I know it isn't on the multistate, but it is such an obvious thing to work into essay questions.  Seemed like half the Cali essay questions had an ethics component.

BARBRI sure had an extensive lecture on the subject, at least.

(And, as to WI - Wisconsin does not require the MPRE at all.  But they do make a point of extra ethics coverage in the essays for the bar.)

john4040

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Re: MPRE Questions?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2011, 02:54:31 PM »
But are there states that don't test professional responsibility?  I know it isn't on the multistate, but it is such an obvious thing to work into essay questions.  Seemed like half the Cali essay questions had an ethics component.

BARBRI sure had an extensive lecture on the subject, at least.

(And, as to WI - Wisconsin does not require the MPRE at all.  But they do make a point of extra ethics coverage in the essays for the bar.)

Neither one of the two states in which I took the Bar tested professional responsibility on the bar exam.  Both states required the MPRE, however.