Aug 8, 2008
I will be flexing my ethical muscles today. It won’t be pretty. Anonymous girlfriend duped me into signing up for the MPRE since she enjoys sharing misery. It didn’t occur to me at the time that with my second-half summer course final looming in a week I would be in no mood to brush up on the finer points of conflicts of interest and fee division. That final I can’t retake in November, the MPRE I can. So the extent of my preparation has been flipping through my professional responsibility outline and doing some practice questions I bummed off someone with it enough to do the BarBri session. So off to reap the fruits of my lack of labor…
I have a feeling I’m not alone. Law Ingenue is hallucinating about it. Nontraditional Law Student seems to be taking a healthy approach of fear and motivation. Namby Pamby has an
Susan M. Case, the Director of Testing for the National Conference of Bar Examiners, gives us the straight dope in the article The Testing Column: Standards on the MPRE (.pdf) (via the Legal Profession Blog)>, noting that many people believe the standard for passing is higher than it actually is, providing the nugget of hope that “even in the toughest states, one would only need to answer 27 of 50 right on that exam.”
For the November 2005 MPRE, these standards required the following percent correct scores:
75 48% (lowest standard jurisdiction)
85 53% (Texas)
86 54% (highest standard jurisdiction)
A discussion of statistical basis for the scaling model ensues here and here, noting that even the examining boards “don’t really know what score, if any, predicts a career of ethical practice” and that the numbers equate to little more concrete predictors than failure rates – for instance “a score of 85 passes roughly 75% of the takers, a score of 80 passes a little more than 85%, and a score of 75 passes about 90% of all takers.”
Does anyone else find it odd that each state picks its own passing rate to set the baseline for professional ethics? Apparently the appropriate response to arbitrariness is … arbitrariness.
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