Professional Responsibility Examination
To practice law in California, applicants must not only pass the California Bar Examination, they must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).
Developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), the MPRE is a 60-item (50 scored questions and 10 nonscored pretest questions), two-hour multiple-choice examination administered three times each year at established test centers across the country. (Title 4, Division 1, Chapter 5 of the Rules of the State Bar of California)
More information regarding the examination, including states for administration and applying to take the examination, is on NCBE’s website.
After registering, applicants may take the MPRE anytime after completing their first year of law school. Applicants can register with the State Bar.
There are no time limits for taking the MPRE in connection with an applicant’s qualification for admission to practice law in California, although the requirement must be satisfied before a motion is made to the Supreme Court of California to see certification of eligibility to practice law in California. Applicants must achieve a minimum scaled score of 86 to be considered as having passed the MPRE.
It is necessary for applicants to request that their scores be reported or transferred to California. Simply being a California applicant or resident will not cause this to occur. To avoid delays in applying to practice law if applicants are successful on the California Bar Examination, they must make sure they do the following:
- Register before taking the MPRE
- Check to see that the correct registration number is included on the MPRE application form
- Request that the score be reported to California. This can be done in one of three ways:
- If the exam was taken in 1999 or after, make a request to the NCBE that scores be transferred to California.
- If the exam was taken before 1999, provide verification from the jurisdiction in which the applicant was admitted that they received an MPRE scaled score of 86 or better.
- If the exam was taken before 1999, provide a copy of the MPRE score that confirms a score of 86 or better along with a signed statement verifying under penalty of perjury that the applicant’s report is accurate.
- Achieve a minimum scaled score at least three months prior to the release of results from the California Bar Examination
- All questions concerning application materials, the administration, processing and/or grading of this examination should be directed to the NCBE.
Preparation & Study
American Heritage University School of Law offers Law 404: Professional Responsibility to help prepare students for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.
Professional Responsibility is a survey of attorneys’ legal and ethical obligations, and the standards that are attendant to the practice of law and the legal profession. Students will study California and model statutory codes and decisional law that define an attorney’s legal and ethical obligations to clients, the courts, opposing counsel and the profession. They will study various legal conflicts that may arise during client representation while fulfilling the varying roles of advocate, officer of the court, public icon and working practitioner. Students will study the business and economic aspects of the practice of law, restraints on practice, the role of the judiciary and the state bar in enforcing attorney rules of professional conduct, and sanctions for violating the rules.