Bar Exam MPT Templates for Common Tasks
Bar Exam MPT Templates for Common Tasks: The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is part of the written portion of the bar exam, and requires examinees to complete two “lawyerly tasks.” The MPT is written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), and the NCBE has included certain tasks more often than others in the MPT. These common tasks are thus predictable and it is important that you are prepared for how to handle them should you face one on your bar exam.
The MPT has included a number of different writing tasks since its inception, including objective memos, persuasive briefs, opinion and/or demand letters, bench memos, persuasive memos, and many other tasks. The objective memos and persuasive briefs are by far the most highly tested tasks. To see how frequently these tasks are tested, check out JD Advising’s MPT Frequency Chart. Opinion and demand letters are the next most highly-tested task.
Because objective memos, persuasive briefs, and opinion/demand letters are tested so frequently, it is a good idea to memorize the general format of these common tasks. Below, you will find the overall format of these common tasks.
Note: You should always read the task memo carefully and follow the instructions in the task memo! The following formats are general advice based on prior MPTs, but may need to be adjusted if there are specific contradictory instructions in your task memo!
Bar Exam MPT Templates for Common Tasks
1. Objective Memo
This is the most popular MPT task! The point is to be objective – that is, not to “advocate” for one side, but to point out the strengths and weaknesses of a case.
Usually, you are asked to omit a statement of facts. However, if the task memo instructs you to include one, then include one in about 5-7 sentences. Check out JD Advising’s post for more information on how to write an objective memo.
2. Persuasive Brief
The point of a persuasive brief is to advocate for a client. Generally, you only want to include a caption, statement of the case, and/or a statement of facts if the task memo instructs you to include these sections. Otherwise, your format will look like this:
Because the point of the persuasive brief is to advocate for your client, you should emphasize the facts that weigh in your client’s favor. However, you should not “gloss over” bad facts; instead, state why they are not relevant or why they are bad for your case. Do not feel as though you have to give the same amount of discussion to each issue, though you do want to make sure you address each issue. Check out JD Advising’s post for more tips on writing persuasive briefs on the MPT.
3. Opinion/Demand letter
Sometimes the task memo for a demand or opinion letter will tell you how to structure your letter. If there are no specific instructions, here is a general template for what your letter should look like:
4. Unusual Task
If you see an unusual task on the MPT, don’t panic! The key to these tasks is to pay close attention to the task memo! It will tell you exactly what to do. The format might be slightly different from the above listed common tasks, but the overall approach will be similar: you should still carefully read the facts, use IRAC, and apply the law to the facts!
Check out JD Advising’s post for more tips on tackling unusual tasks on the MPT.
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