Hunkering down for the MPRE


Tomorrow morning I get to take my MPRE exam. The initials stand for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.

The MPRE is an ethics exam – it’s supposed to weed out people who do not understand how to tell right from wrong in a legal setting. 

It’s one of those fill-in-the-dot exams where you get to pick the best answer of four options. But from the practice tests I’ve taken, usually the true best answer for each scenario is not among the four choices presented. So, instead of “best” answer the test is actually “choose the least bad” answer of the bunch presented.

My professional responsibility professor says the examiners do it this way on purpose – it’s to test the way we reason, not that we memorized a group of rules.

The odd thing is there are two types of people who take this exam: law students and attorneys who had an ethics violation and are told by the state bar that they need to re-take the MPRE as punishment.

Of course, I am 39 – which means that some of the other students there who are not from my school are going to be assuming because of my age that I am an unethical attorney doing penance.