MPT Advice: The MPT is often the most overlooked component of the bar exam, but it shouldn’t be! After all, the MPT is worth the same amount as 70 multiple-choice questions! Further, this is the only section of the exam for which you do not need to recite any law that you memorized. If you can efficiently work through the assigned task it is possible to pick up some extra points and give yourself a bit of a cushion (in case you don’t perform as well as you would like on the essays or the multiple choice questions)
We have tons of posts on the MPT (including very specific posts about how to write demand letters, persuasive briefs, objective memoranda, etc.). These are just same basic pieces of MPT advice that we have to offer you. Many students make some very avoidable mistakes. We hope this MPT advice helps you avoid those mistakes!
MPT Advice: 5 Tips
1. Read the task memo carefully!
Always read the task memo first. The task memo will tell you your assignment (e.g., persuasive brief, objective memorandum, client letter, demand letter, etc.). Sometimes the task memo will also help your organize your answer by specifically telling you which issues to discuss. If you forget what your objective while taking notes on the cases and/or statutes in the library, reread the task memo and reorient yourself. Make sure to answer all of the questions in the task memo.
2. Avoid writing complete case briefs.
When reviewing the cases in the library, do not spend the majority of your time writing a case brief. Prioritize your time by first extracting the relevant rule of law. Then summarize the key facts of the case in a few sentences. Pay particular attention to the facts that the court highlights in its reasoning. Do not try to recreate the case briefs you wrote or read during your first year of law school (if you attempt to do so, you will run out of time)!
3. Use half of your time to read the file and library (and outline your answer)!
As you read the task memo, file and library, create your outline. Not only will this help you organize your answer, it will help you with your time management. For example, if you find that you have five issues that you need to discuss and you write out each issue as you go along, you are more likely to allocate your time appropriately.
4. Familiarize yourself with the format of the most highly tested tasks.
The bar examiners take your formatting and organization into consideration when grading your answer. Therefore, it is good to have a general idea of what an objective memorandum and a persuasive brief look like. Also, take some time to review opinion letters and demand letters, as they have been tested several times in the last five years. If you are unsure of what the final product for any of these tasks looks like, take some time to look over some high-scoring student answers. If you visit the “Essay and MPT Questions and Selected Answers” section of the Georgia Bar Admissions website you can find past MPT questions listed by year beginning with the July 2011 exam.
5. Practice timed MPTs prior to the exam.
You may feel like you don’t have any timing issues, but you will never know until you do a practice timed MPT. Make sure you are able to read and analyze all the documents provided in half of the time allotted. See if you feel comfortable with cases and statutes. Similarly, see if you feel comfortable writing answers to different tasks. Force yourself to practice tasks that you struggle with – build your confidence before exam day!
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