Three MPT Demand Letter Tips
While the objective memo and persuasive brief are the most common MPT tasks, the Examiners love to throw in some of the less common tasks in order to test your skills. This is why it is so important to practice all of the different types of tasks so that you don’t find yourself surprised on test day. One of these less popular tasks is the MPT demand letter. This task generally involves writing a letter to a third party (usually a lawyer) requesting they take, or refrain from taking, some sort of action on behalf of your client. You are advocating in favor of a specific outcome. In this post, we offer three of our favorite MPT demand letter tips so that you are more prepared if you see this task on the bar exam!
Three MPT Demand Letter Tips
1. Read and follow all of the instructions carefully.
Every MPT comes with a task memo which gives you the instructions for what kind of document you are being asked to create! You should always read the task memo first, and read it carefully! An easy way to lose points is to not follow the directions presented. Luckily, less common tasks such as MPT demand letters tend to come with even more detailed instructions, even beyond those listed in the task memo. Sometimes the memo will tell you to see an attached document with instructions on how to format your MPT demand letter. Always be on the lookout for these extra instructions! The Examiners recognize that some of these tasks are much more obscure, and thus they will try to guide you on what to include. The easiest way to start your MPT demand letter off on the right foot is to make sure you understand and follow the instructions from the beginning.
2. Acknowledge and counter opposing arguments and positions.
Scattered throughout the file and the library will be facts and legal arguments that could support the opposite action you are arguing for in your MPT demand letter. Your job is to acknowledge these arguments and facts while presenting reasons why your argument should still prevail. Maybe the courts have tended to favor your arguments while dismissing the ones your opponent might offer (which offers a great opportunity to compare and contrast the facts!). Maybe the facts in your favor are more persuasive. The Examiners will be looking for you to acknowledge the arguments that don’t favor your position, they don’t want to see you ignore them. Your position will only be bolstered if you can defeat your opponent’s arguments while advocating for yours at the same time. You want to explain why the course of action you are “demanding” really is the most sound under the law.
3. Be persuasive, but don’t exaggerate.
On the MPT you need to be particularly aware of the tone you use when you write. When you are trying to convince someone that your position is the correct position (like in a MPT demand letter), you should be using a persuasive tone. However, that does not mean you should exaggerate the facts that are in your favor. This can be very tempting to do, as it makes your position sound incredibly appealing. However, the Examiners will know if you do this. They are aware of the limitations of all of the facts. In an MPT demand letter, your goal is to demonstrate how well you can craft a persuasive argument with the facts you are given. Impress by countering your opposition’s argument instead of by stretching your own!
Laura Sigler, a JD Advising researcher and essay grader, wrote this post.