Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination
[Information from MPRE Web Site as of 2/9/03]
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a fifty question,
two-hour, multiple-choice examination administered three times each year. Questions
concerning your MPRE Application must be directed to the MPRE Application Department
In February 2002 the American Bar Association (ABA) adopted certain changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) as a result of the recommendations of the Commission on Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct (popularly known as "Ethics 2000"). In August 2002 the American Bar Association adopted additional changes to the MRPC as a result of the recommendations of the Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice and the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.
These 2002 changes to the MRPC will first be reflected in the content of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) that will be administered in March 2004.
Candidates who are planning to take the MPRE should obtain a copy of the Information Booklet for the applicable year. The current MPRE Information Booklet appears elsewhere on this website.
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is required for admission to the bars of the following jurisdictions. As this list is subject to change, check with the board of bar examiners in the state in which you plan to seek admission to the bar. Passing scores for each jurisdiction follow in parentheses. Passing scores, which are established by each jurisdiction, are subject to change.
Passing Score for Georgia: 75
For those applicants applying on or before the regular receipt deadline, the fee for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination is $52.00. For those applying after the regular receipt deadline, the fee is $104.00. Checks should be made payable to the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Application materials with insufficient or incorrect payment will be returned unprocessed. Corrected application materials that are resubmitted must still meet the published application deadline for the test date requested. Absolutely no applications will be taken after the late receipt deadline.
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is assembled and administered by ACT, Inc., on behalf of the National Conference of Bar Examiners as partial fulfillment of the requirements for application for admission to practice law in jurisdictions that require the MPRE. The examination is administered three times per year at established test centers across the country.
NCBE adopted new test specifications for the MPRE beginning with the March 1999 administration. The MPRE is based on the law governing the conduct of lawyers, including the disciplinary rules of professional conduct currently articulated in the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Code of Judicial Conduct, as well as controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles established in leading federal and state cases and in procedural and evidentiary rules.
Since the requirements for accepting an MPRE score vary from one jurisdiction to another, check with the board(s) of bar examiners in each jurisdiction to which you intend to apply before completing the enclosed materials. Examination results will be forwarded to one jurisdiction of your choice and will be kept on file at the office of the National Conference of Bar Examiners in Iowa City, Iowa. For information about reports to additional jurisdictions, see the MPRE Score Reports page.
Test construction and administrative services for the MPRE are provided by ACT, Inc., 2255 N. Dubuque Rd., PO Box 4001, Iowa City, IA 52243-4001.
ACT and the National Conference of Bar Examiners take steps that are intended to ensure that application and answer documents are properly handled, processed, and scored. In the unlikely event that a mistake occurs in handling, processing, or scoring these documents or in reporting scores, ACT and the NCBE will correct the error if possible or permit the examinee either to retest at no additional fee or to receive a refund of his/her examination fee.
The examination schedule is shown below.
2003 Test Dates:
Saturday, March 8
Friday, August 8
Friday, November 7
Each applicant should select the test date and test center appropriate for his or her specific situation.
There is no provision for makeup testing. Applicants who are unable to take the examination for which they have applied must reapply to take a later examination.
Description of the Examination
The purpose of the NCBE Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is to measure the examinee's knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer's professional conduct; thus, the MPRE is not a test to determine an individual's personal ethical values. Lawyers serve in many capacities: for example, as judges, as advocates, counselors, and in other roles. The law governing the conduct of lawyers in these roles is applied in disciplinary and bar admission procedures, and by courts in dealing with issues of appearance, representation, privilege, disqualification, contempt or other censure, and in lawsuits seeking to establish liability for malpractice, and other civil or criminal wrongs committed by a lawyer while acting in a professional capacity.
The law governing the conduct of lawyers is based on the disciplinary rules of professional conduct currently articulated in the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct (1983 as amended), and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct (1990 as amended), as well as controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles established in leading federal and state cases and in procedural and evidentiary rules.
The MPRE is developed by a six-member Drafting Committee comprised of recognized experts in the area of professional responsibility. Before a test item is selected for inclusion in the MPRE, it undergoes a multistage review process that occurs over the course of several years before the test is administered. Besides intensive reviews by the Drafting Committee and testing specialists, each test item is reviewed by other national and state experts. All test items must successfully pass all reviews before they are included in the MPRE. After an MPRE examination is administered, the statistical performance of each test item is reviewed and evaluated by content and testing experts before the items are included in the computation of examinees' scores. This final statistical review is conducted to ensure that each test item is accurate and psychometrically sound.
The MPRE consists of 50 multiple-choice test items. These test items are followed by 10 Test Center Review items that request the examinee's reactions to the testing conditions. The examination is two hours and five minutes in length.
Test items covering judicial ethics measure applications of the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC). Other items will deal with discipline of lawyers by state disciplinary authorities; in these items, the correct answer will be governed by the current ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC). The remaining items, 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; in these items, the correct answer will be governed by the view reflected in a majority 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 be assumed to apply, unless otherwise stated.
As a general rule, particular local statutes or rules of court will not be tested in the MPRE. However, a specific test question may include the text of a local statute or rule that must be considered when answering that question. Amendments to the MRPC or CJC will be reflected in the examination no earlier than one year after the approval of the amendments by the American Bar Association.
Each question contained in the MPRE provides a factual situation along with a specific question and four possible answer choices. Examinees should pick the best answer from the four possible answer choices. Each question may include, among others, one of the following key words or phrases:
1. Subject to discipline asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer to discipline under the provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. In the case of a judge, the test questions also asks whether the judge would be subject to discipline under the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct.
2. May or proper asks whether the conduct referred to or described in the question is professionally appropriate in that it:
a. would not subject the lawyer or judge to discipline; and
b. is not inconsistent with the Preamble, Comments, or text of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct or the ABA Code of Judicial Conduct; and
c. is not inconsistent with generally accepted principles of the law of lawyering.
3. Subject to litigation sanction asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer or the lawyers law firm to sanction by a tribunal such as contempt, fine, fee forfeiture, disqualification, or other sanction.
4. Subject to disqualification asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer or the lawyers law firm to disqualification as counsel in a civil or criminal matter.
5. Subject to civil liability asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer or the lawyers law firm to civil liability, such as claims arising from malpractice, misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty.
6. Subject to criminal liability asks whether the conduct described in the question would subject the lawyer to criminal liability for participation in, or aiding and abetting criminal acts, such as prosecution for insurance and tax fraud, destruction of evidence, or obstruction of justice.
When a question refers to discipline by the "bar," "state bar," or "appropriate disciplinary authority," it refers to the agency in the jurisdiction with the authority to administer the standards for admission to practice and for maintenance of professional competence and integrity. Whenever a lawyer is identified as a "certified specialist," that lawyer has been so certified by the appropriate agency in the jurisdiction in which the lawyer practices.
The ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct are available from the American Bar Association at 750 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60611 (312-988-5522).
MPRE Subject Matter Outline
The following subject matter outline indicates the examination's scope of coverage and the approximate percentage of items that are included in each major area. The outline is not intended to list every aspect of a topic mentioned. Although the test items for each MPRE are developed from these categories, each topic is not necessarily tested on each examination.
I. Regulation of the Legal Profession (8-12%)
A. Inherent Powers of Courts to Regulate Lawyers
B. Admission to the Profession
C. Regulation After Admission
D. Maintaining Professional Standards--Peer Responsibility
E. Unauthorized Practice
F. Fee Division with a Non-Lawyer
G. The Law Firm
H. Contractual Restrictions on Practice
II. The Client-Lawyer Relationship (10-14%)
A. Acceptance or Rejection of Clients
B. Scope, Objective, and Means of the Representation
C. Within the Bounds of the Law
E. Client-Lawyer Contracts
III. Privilege and Confidentiality--Clients and Former Clients (6-10%)
A. Evidentiary Privilege
B. Professional Obligation of Confidence
C. Client-Authorized Disclosure
D. Permissible Disclosure
E. Special Problems
IV. Independent Professional Judgment--Conflicts of Interest--Client Consent (12-16%)
A. As Affected by Lawyer's Personal Interest
B. Lawyer as Witness
C. Acquiring an Interest in Litigation
D. Entering into Business Transactions with Client
E. Conflicting Interests--Current Clients and Former Clients
F. Influence by Persons Other than Client
G. Law Firm, Associates, and Related Persons
H. Lawyer's Service as Arbitrator, Mediator, or Judge
V. Competence, Legal Malpractice, and Other Civil Liability (8-12%)
A. Civil Liability, Including Malpractice
B. Maintaining Competence
C. Acceptance of Employment
D. Exercise of Diligence and Care
E. Limiting Liability for Malpractice
VI. Litigation and Other Forms of Advocacy (12-16%)
A. Exercise of Professional Judgment
B. Civility, Courtesy, and Decorum
C. Conduct in the Course of Litigation--Claims, Defenses, Testimony, and Evidence
D. Fraud or Perjury
E. Communications in Course of Representation
VII. Different Roles of the Lawyer (4-8%)
A. Lawyer as Advisor
B. Lawyer as Intermediary
C. Lawyer as Evaluator
D. Lawyer as Negotiator
E. Lawyer as Mediator
F. Special Obligations of the Lawyer in Public Service
G. Appearances before Legislative Bodies
VIII. Safekeeping Property and Funds of Clients and Others (4-8%)
A. Lawyer as Trustee of Client Funds
B. Lawyer as Custodian of Client Property
C. Disputed Claims
IX. Communication About Legal Services (6-10%)
A. Public Communications About Services
C. Group Legal Services
D. Direct Contact With Prospective Clients (Solicitation)
E. Fields of Practice--Limitations of Practice and Specialization
X. Lawyers and the Legal System (2-6%)
A. Lawyer Activity in Improving the Legal System
B. Impropriety Incident to Public Service
XI. Judicial Ethics (6-10%)
A. Uphold the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary
B. Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety
C. Duties of Impartiality and Diligence
D. Activities to Improve the Legal System
E. Extra-Judicial Activities
F. Political Activity of Judges
G. Candidate for Judicial