The MPT is yet another creation of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and its aim is to determine each examinee’s ability “to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation.” The tasks set each year are designed to determine each examinee’s ability to tackle an assignment that any new lawyer should be able to competently complete.
33 U.S. Jurisdictions currently administer the MPT, with several more adopting the test over the next couple years. (The MPT is weighted differently depending on the jurisdiction, so consult your state board of law examiners for the particulars.)
The 90-minute test is comprised of a File, which contains all the facts and supporting documentation you will need to complete your task, and a Library, which includes caselaw, statues, and any other relevant rules or regulations. Common MPT tasks include memoranda to supervising attorneys or letters to clients, but the MPT has also required examinees to draft contract or will provisions, create counseling plans, or even write settlement proposals. You can find free sample tests here and purchase additional practice materials directly from the NCBE.
The good news about the MPT is that it is a closed universe, so you are not being tested on any outside knowledge of the law. In fact, the MPT often includes laws or statutes that are only valid within the world of the test. What the MPT really tests is your ability to carefully read and follow instructions and demonstrate your ability to think like a true lawyer.
The best way to prepare for the MPT, like any other component of the bar exam, is to take full-length practice tests until you become comfortable with the format. You should try to administer at least 2-3 to yourself under timed conditions during your bar preparation period. Make sure to carefully review your answers to ensure that they are well written and organized, concise, and fully compliant with the tasks as assigned.
This is your chance to show off your nascent lawyering skills to the bar examiners, so make the most of it!
Have a question about preparing for the bar exam? Email Kimber Russell at Kimber.Russell@kaplan.com.
Check back here every Monday and Wednesday for more Bar Points. And get extra practice with our MBE Questions of the Day every Tuesday and Thursday at Facebook.com/KaplanPMBR.