Is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination More Difficult than the Bar Exam?

It is common knowledge that a person must pass his or her state’s Bar Examination to become licensed as an attorney.  All 50 states and the District of Columbia also require that bar applications pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).   

The 50 question MPRE test is actually more difficult than the bar examination. The reason why MPRE is such a difficult exam is that it tests specific ethical questions that are challenging to answer in a multiple choice format.  It often seems that there could be more than one answer that is correct.  As a result of the MPRE’s difficulty, the current threshold for passing is answering about 36 questions correctly out of 50.  The average score is about 38 correct answers out of 50.  

When Stewart Sutton took the MPRE in spring 1987, he scored in the top 1% nationwide by correctly answering 49 out of 50 questions.  His scaled score was 143 out of 150.  The threshold for passing the MPRE in California in 1987 was a scaled score of 79 or about 32 correct answers. 


The shocking truth is that many attorneys lack a working understanding of their state’s Rules of Professional Conduct.  The Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct are located at Maryland Rule 19-301.1 to 19-308.5.  See

If you believe that your current or former Maryland attorney has violated his or her obligation to render legal services in a professional, ethical manner, and/or competent manner, you can report the attorney to the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission.  See

Stewart A. Sutton on behalf of clients has reported dozens of attorneys to the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission and equivalent authorities in other jurisdictions, resulting in many attorneys being disbarred, suspended, or disciplined.   See the following posts for his involvement in recent disciplinary cases: and






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