Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

I just took the MPRE

The MPRE is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam: (the head proctor definitely called it the Multiple Professional Responsibility Exam) it’s the yin to the Bar Exam’s yang. The Shaq to the Bar Exam’s Kobe (in that you can’t possibly consent to what the Bar Exam will do to you, but it’ll buy you really nice things afterward if you promise not to tell anyone). The MPRE tests your knowledge of what is permissible, proper, and legal for lawyers and judges to do.

For instance, did you know that a lawyer is not permitted to accept payment of his fees in sexual favors? Actually, you probably did. That seems pretty self-evident, actually. I don’t know why my professor bothered to- oh. Okay.. Well then. Moving on.

So there I was, in a basement exhibition hall in the J. Jonah Jameson, Jr. Convention Center, located in the middle of scenic construction sites on the Hudson River, with more than a thousand almost-lawyers. I was located next to the bathroom, with about four dozen folks queuing to relieve themselves after pounding what I can only assume is Starbucks’ latest concoction – the sort that’s probably regulated as a controlled stimulant in the EU. A constant stream (no pun! no pun!) of students meandered in and out of the bathrooms for the duration of the test, which wouldn’t have been terribly distracted, except half of them chose to wear hard-soled shoes.

My favorite part of the exam was actually before we even had answer sheets to bubble in our name, address, social security number (really? In 2010?), favorite food, name of our first pet, and who would win a showdown between a Terminator Model T-1000 and the Incredible Hulk piloting the Exoskeleton from Alien. (It takes absolutely forever to bubble in the word “exoskeleton”) As the JJJJCC was meant for conventions, not exams, there’s a huge honking doorway into the exhibition hall. The doorway is closed by a massive steel curtain which rolls down from the ceiling, slowly and ominously. All I could think of was one last almost-lawyer making a mad dash for the door, sliding underneath it at the last moment, and reaching back for his hat. Alternatively: maybe someone could have pulled an Echo Base. No such luck; maybe at the Bar.

Anyway, it apparently takes five weeks for the test results to come back, but I look forward to whether a room full of lawyers think I’m ethical or not. Here’s hoping it’s not a conflict of interest to sue yourself for sexual assault for tax purposes!