Pros: Clearly presented material, works for both a law school class and the MPRE
Cons: No full-length MPRE practice tests
Preparing for the MPRE? The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination is the ethics portion of the bar required in most states. Emmanuel Professional Responsibility Outline by James E. Moliterno provides an ideal resource for students either attempting to pass the MPRE or attempting to study for some type of Professional Responsibility course.
In my efforts to ensure MPRE passage, I did many things. Too many things, in fact. I went through this outline and answered most of the practice questions it contains. Then, I took a complementary and truly unpleasant half-day BARBRI class that came with my bar review registration. Finally, I completed many BARBRI practice tests which I learned later were pretty much NOT representative of the actual test. I ended up confused and panicked the night before the exam, convinced I was going to fail. Quite frankly, I should have quit while I was ahead. I passed the test with no problem but if I had it to do over I would simply work through this Emanuel outline and then take some of the official practice tests that can be ordered online.
WARNING: The review that follows will be of no interest to non-law students. It is full of legal dorkery and general irrelevance to general society.
I dont use a lot of commercial outlines in law school, typically because I am too busy trying to catch up on the material covered in the textbook and in class toward exam time to even think about bringing in any outside resources. When I do purchase an outline, Emmanuel is typically my brand of choice. These guys cover the major law school class topics including Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Property, Torts, and the like. All the outlines share an organizational scheme with a capsule summary of forty or fifty pages in the front and then break down the material into further detail for the remainder of the book. Expect to pay about $30.00 for any Emanuel outline if you purchase it in store. I usually find new or nearly new copies on Amazon.com for between $15.00 and $20.00, which is a worthwhile savings even when factoring in shipping.
This case book pretty much breaks down the rules of professional responsibility. Each chapter covers a different general topic. Some examples include The Role of the Lawyer, Confidentiality, and Conflict of Interests. Each individual chapter goes breaks down into subtopic and presents the information in an easy-to-follow outline form that coordinates with the capsule summary up front. At the end of each chapter, I answered the quiz yourself questions and found I retained the material pretty well. An Exam Tips section can also be found in each chapter. On the whole, the material is pretty clearly and simply presented. The section on conflicts is particularly useful, as this topic gave me the biggest headaches.
One big plus about this book is that it is easily used by both those studying for an actual class and those who just need to pass the MPRE with a minimal score. Each of the rules stated in the outline includes a citation to the relevant Model Rule of Professional Conduct. If you are studying for a class, you will likely need to know these numbers. However, if you are studying for the MPRE, you will NOT need to know this, so just move on by. The practice questions would be useful to any type of user, as would the exam tips section.
The only downside to purchasing this book instead of an official MPRE review course book to study for the ethics exam is that Emanuels Professional Responsibility outline does not include any full practice MPREs. As I mentioned above, this problem can easily be solved by ordering them online for about $20.00. I believe I received four, although I didnt have time to work through them because I was busy wasting my time with BARBRI.
I vastly overstudied for the MPRE, wasting time that could have been better spent on my job or my actual classes. Out of all the resources I used, I found Emanuels Professional Responsibility Outline to be the best. If you've really, really, procrastinated and are taking the MPRE, say, tomorrow, buy this anyway, as the capsule summary just may be enough to salvage a passing grade. Ideally, my recommendation to those studying for the MPRE would be to purchase this outline, work through it, and take a couple practice tests to see how you do. Most likely this will be sufficient preparation to assure passage of the pesky MPRE and you can move on to bigger and better things.