How to study for the MPRE: With the MPRE being about 6 weeks away, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about how to best study for the MPRE. Or, if you are not taking the August exam, these are things you can think about implementing prior to taking the November or March exam. In this post, we cover four steps to effectively study for the MPRE.
How to Study for the MPRE
1. Prepare in law school.
In other words, take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) exam after you take Professional Responsibility (or the equivalent ethics course) in school. Even if your professor teaches your specific state’s rules instead of the ABA Model Rules, learning the differences will not take too long with some dedicated time and effort.
Plus, many students take Professional Responsibility as a summer course in law school. The final exam is thus a few weeks prior to the August MPRE. This is great timing! It allows you to take a few days off after the final and then start studying the ABA rules while everything still is fresh. You might as well not study twice if you can avoid it!
2. Sign up for a MPRE course.
Many commercial companies offer free MPRE courses and outlines to law students. These courses usually consist of a recorded lecture that you can listen to online. We also offer a free course and outline materials.
You should definitely take advantage of a course, whether you listen to the lecture online or in-person, to ensure that you understand the rules prior to taking the exam. Many law students underestimate how hard the MPRE is and simply do not study—don’t fall into that trap!
3. Learn the rules.
This step might sound silly. But really—you need to learn the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct in order to pass the MPRE. This step goes hand-in-hand with step 2, above. Many law students think that the MPRE is “easy” and do not study or they spend an hour or two prior to the exam looking over an outline. This is simply not enough.
There is a reason that virtually all law schools require students to take Professional Responsibility and that the majority of states require lawyers pass the MPRE—the Model Rules are not as easy as you think, and yet very important to our profession.
So, make a study schedule and set aside dedicated time where you are actively reviewing your outline and making sure that you understand what the rules mean. This also means looking at the comments to the rules if you are unsure about how they operate. While there is never any guarantee you will pass an exam because you studied, spending time actually learning the material significantly increases your chances of passing.
4. Practice applying your knowledge.
Just like any other test, whether standardized or in law school, an important part of studying is applying what you know and learning how to take the test. The MPRE is not any different.
There are free, released real MPRE questions on the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ (NCBE) website. This is a great place to start. The NCBE also offers released exams for a fee. These are an excellent resource to gauge your readiness for the actual exam. There also is a book with released questions called Strategies and Tactics for the MPRE (which is part of the Emmanuel series).
You may also have access to questions from commercial companies. These, too, are a good resource when you study for the MPRE. But, the best resource is to practice with actual MPRE questions—so be sure to implement this into your study schedule. We also offer real questions here.
If you take the MPRE seriously and follow the steps outlined above when you study for the MPRE, you are putting yourself in the best position possible to tackle the MPRE.
Good luck studying for the MPRE!
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