You must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) to be licensed to practice in any state in the United States except for Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. The MPRE is offered three times a year: March, August, and November. You have to register to take it two months in advance; the current fee is $150. See registration deadlines and information.
The MPRE is a 60 question multiple choice test. You have two hours to complete the exam. Scores range from 50 (low) to 150 (high). You will be required to take the exam at a testing center on a computer provided by the testing center.
- Depending on the state where you plan to apply for bar admission you need to earn a score of somewhere between a 75 and 85 to pass. Even if you don’t know where you plan to apply for bar admission, we recommend that you take the MPRE and aim to achieve a scaled score of 85 or higher.
- Most students arrange to take the MPRE by March of their 3L year at the latest. Even though you can take the MPRE after graduating as well, a delay in submitting an MPRE score may delay your bar licensing.
- Many students choose to take the MPRE during the same semester they take the Law School’s required Professional Responsibility (PR) course, but it is not necessary to have taken a PR course prior to taking the MPRE. Studying for the school’s PR course reinforces studying for the MPRE and vice versa.
Taking the MPRE in your 2L year or prior to your final 3L semester may be optimal. Most states allow bar applicants to submit a passing MPRE score within 2 years prior to passing the bar exam. The spring of the 3L year is usually busy with the stress of the job search, graduation, and pulling together Character and Fitness applications. Also, if you fail the MPRE the first time, it is nice to be able to leave enough time for a re-take, if necessary. A passing MPRE score can be good for anywhere from two to five years, depending on the jurisdiction where you seek to be barred.
Many commercial bar companies like Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Helix, Quimbee, etc. offer free MPRE courses which include online videos, physical outlines books, and practice exams to prepare you for the MPRE as a way to introduce you to the quality of their product for future bar study. We recommend you take advantage of these free offers.
- Most students need to set aside at least two full weekends to review course material and prepare for the MPRE.
- The MPRE questions are rule-based multiple choice questions that require detailed familiarity with the Rules of Professional Conduct and their application. You cannot “feel your way” through the multiple choice questions and pass; you cannot watch the videos casually and absorb the information through osmosis.
- Passing the MPRE is not difficult, but it requires a concerted and focused effort and the appropriate motivation and time management.