I took the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam – aka the MPRE – this past weekend. It must seem ironic that future lawyers have to take a test of the ethics of being attorneys before we can be admitted to the Bar. Given that we’re going to be entrusted with our clients’ money, property, and secrets, we better know what we’re doing. About halfway through the test, the reality that I will hopefully be a lawyer a year from now was pretty humbling.
I opted to take my test at Phoenix College instead of Arizona State University. I took the LSAT there, and since that worked out well, I decided that that place has good mojo for me. I wish I could take the bar exam there. I also figured that there would be fewer of my classmates there, which would keep my stress down.
Besides showing a photo I.D. at the testing location, we also had to attach a passport photo to our admission ticket. While I was at Walgreens taking my picture I debated between making the cracked-out-on-caffeine face or the sullen I-love-my-job face. I told the clerk that it was for a test, not a passport. He responded, “Well, as long as it isn’t for anything legal.” I opted to play it safe and make the I-love-my-job face.
Since our careers were somewhat riding on this test, a lot of people were nervous about not doing anything that would result in our scores being cancelled. One guy in my room raised his hand and asked if it was ok if he got a cough drop from his pocket. It was cute.
Taking the MPRE proved to me that going to law school has made me more superstitious. Before law school I would carry my grandfather’s handkerchief and wear my grandmother’s watch when I was nervous. Now I carry my grandfather’s handkerchief, my grandmother’s watch, and my grandfather’s rosary with me – and I’m not Catholic.
Speaking of Catholicism, a woman I met before the test had the best advice about what to do if you get stuck on a question. She had practiced law in Colorado for twenty years and needed to take the MPRE to be admitted to the Arizona Bar. A judge told her, when in doubt, pick the answer that matches what a Catholic nun would do in the situation.
When I’m working hard on a project, I have a tendency to put my elbow on the table, rest my head on my hand, and put my fingers in my hair. This had a tendency to counteract my hair product and make my hair fluffy. I had some major fluffy hair by the end of this test. I’m glad I checked the mirror before I walked out of the building.
On a related note, my sister took the MPRE this past weekend too, though I didn’t know about it until afterwards. She is going to law school across the country. Looking at us from an academic/professional perspective, you would never guess we were related. I thought it was really cute that we took the same test on the same day, 2000 miles apart. I hope we will celebrate passing MPRE scores for Christmas.
- MPRE Results Are Out: Open Thread (abovethelaw.com)