MPT Bar Exam Tips — Ethics Issues
MPT Bar Exam Tips — Ethics Issues are Key. In our 2-Day MPT Crash Course in New York we find that students often have gaps in their approach to the MPT that can get in the way of high performance. They may overlook ethics issues, for example, just because they aren’t looking for them. But the bar examiners think ethics is foundational, and the MPT often raises ethics considerations. The MPT counts for 20 per cent of the UBE grade, so it’s important to know what to look for. The following tips on spotting and handling ethics issues on the MPT come from our book Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT), © Mary Campbell Gallagher, 2011. Students receive a copy in the 2-Day MPT Crash Course, the 4-Day Bar Camp: MPT and Essays, and the 10-Day Intensive.
Ethical considerations may arise in anything that we do as attorneys. The NCBE says that recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas is tested on the MPT. The relationship between attorney and client, between attorney and opposing counsel, between our families and the parties’ families, our prior representation of parties in similar cases, our interests in fee disputes and in the interests at stake in the lawsuit, all are fertile ground for ethical issues on the bar examination. The MPT is a portion of the exam where you are practicing law in a fictional jurisdiction with simulated case law and statutes. But the basic ethical principles you must apply are universal.
The Bar Examiners May Provide Means for Avoiding or Resolving Ethical Issues
But note that as fast as the bar examiners put forth an ethical dilemma, they may also provide means for avoiding it or finding a remedy, for example, in the form of a statutory exception that alleviates a possible conflict of interest. Make sure to notice whether the Partner Memorandum mentions an ethical question. If so, take special care to spell out in detail how it will affect your work in aiding the client.
Make a Separate Section for the Ethical Issue and Label Clearly
The MPT materials may or may not include statutes or case law touching on the ethical issue you have noticed. You must nonetheless show the graders that you have recognized this ethical issue. It is important to state clearly, in a separately-labeled section, that there is a possible ethical issue. Explain what the issue is. Use the word “ethical.” Make it unmistakably clear that you know you are confronting an ethical issue.
Discuss how you could handle the issue. Suggest what type of disclosure or other resolution is available. The ethical issue may be one where consent of the client suffices, leaving representation unaffected. Where receiving consent from the client will resolve the ethical issue, you must state that fact explicitly. Then continue with the remainder of the MPT task.
We Offer Help on the MPT in Courses, Coaching, and a Terrific Book
If you need help with the MPT, our 2-Day MPT Crash Course, in New York City will help you. At the least, you should plan to use our book Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT), © Mary Campbell Gallagher, 2011. Take a look at our offerings below. If you think the answer is private tutoring, we offer that, too.
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 NCBE, Skills Tested, http://www.ncbex.org/multistate-tests/mpt/mpt-faqs/skills-tested/