The Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is not the most difficult exam a law student will have to take. In fact, I would assert that it is one of the easiest exams you will take as a law student.
I am not saying that the exam is “easy”, I am only saying that by the time you take the MPRE you will have taken plenty of exams that require far more preparation and brainpower to pass.
Compared to your first-year Torts, Contracts, and Civil Procedure class, the MPRE is a breeze. But the MPRE tends to promote anxiety for law students. Why? Probably because it is the first uniform exam you will have taken since the LSAT and because passing the MPRE is an absolute requirement for becoming a practicing attorney.
But don’t get too worried about the MPRE, in this article I will discuss how long you should study for the MPRE (hint: I would recommend no longer than a month) and why.
If you want to know when you should take the MPRE check out this article.
Are you taking Professional Responsibility?
To my knowledge, most schools require that you take a professional responsibility course before you take the MPRE. Some do not, but pretty much all of them have at least an option to take the MPRE.
I strongly advise any student reading this to take a professional responsibility course whether or not it is required. As I mentioned before, the MPRE is not the most difficult exam you will take but it is extremely important. By taking a professional responsibility course right before you take the MPRE you kill two birds with one stone. You fulfill two credit hours by taking the class and you increase your chances substantially of passing the exam.
How long should you study if you took Professional Responsibility?
People are all over the place on how long you should study for the MPRE. If you recently took Professional Responsibility I recommend that you study for no longer than a month in advance and no more than six hours a week.
I finished my Professional Responsibility class a month before the MPRE, and I did not start studying until one WEEK before the exam. I don’t recommend other people wait until a week before the exam, but it worked out for me. I studied well over twenty hours in that week and I ended up scoring well above any required state minimums.
My only cautionary note I want to give those who have taken the Professional Responsibility course is don’t expect to have learned everything you will need for the exam in the course. The courses are usually too short to cover everything and you will need to supplement your study with the free Barbri MPRE course.
If you don’t supplement your course study you are gambling with your MPRE score. There were a variety of rules that I had to learn after I finished my course because they were not covered in class, and I would have scored far lower if I had not covered these additional rules.
What if you don’t take Professional Responsibility?
If you decide to opt-out of a professional responsibility course I strongly recommend that you prepare for a month and you spend at least ten hours a week studying for this exam.
Take the full free Barbri MPRE course, it is extremely helpful and offers a variety of practice questions. Focus on learning the rules in and out. None of the MPRE questions asked me to cite a specific rule, but all of the hypotheticals required me to know what the rule on the subject was.
It’s true, the MPRE is not the most difficult exam in law school, in fact, it’s probably one of the easiest. But that is no reason to take your preparation like a joke or you could very well find yourself re-taking the MPRE.
Put a few weeks of studying in a few hours a week and get a good night’s rest before the exam. With that, you should not have any problems with this exam and you can quickly move on to your next hurdle in law school.