I took the MPRE yesterday (pronounced “um-pree”). I believe “MPRE” stands for “Model Professional Rules of Ethics Exam” even though it’s short an “E.” Then again, the “R” might somehow stand for “Reasonable” since that word is super important to lawyers.
For example, lawyers can be sued for malpractice if they are not careful advocates for their clients—but what counts as careful? An error in judgment, such as not deposing a witness who unexpectedly turns out to be key for the other side, might not give the aggrieved client a reason to sue if that judgment was well-informed and reasonable. Now you’ll want to know what counts as reasonable, but that depends on what’s the norm for similarly situated lawyers acting reasonably. So lawyers really need the word “reasonable” to make sense of anything.
The exam lasted two hours and five minutes, though we could leave as soon as we finished. The guy sitting next to me left after 45 minutes when I still had half the questions left to wade through, but I imagined beating him in arm wrestling to pad my ego. Also, he seemed to drool a bit, and personally, I’d rather take longer to complete my questions and NOT drool than be a speed test taker drooler. But I wish that guy the best though, no ill will on my end.
I was reminded of the interesting personalities I ran into taking the LSAT. I was trying to enjoy myself. As we were let into the exam room, I said to the person checking our IDs: “Wow, big day! Are you nervous?” For some reason, most of my fellow test takers weren’t in a laughing mood. There was one who earlier I had noticed kneeling before the BU Chapel and making the sign of a cross. There was one with a sweet Mohawk—wear it while you can, friend! There was another with two 5-hour Energy Shots in his plastic ziplock next to a pencil sharpener. I hope they got into the schools they wanted to get into—we’re all working hard here.
(OK fine, MPRE stands for Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, and no one calls it um-pree.)