The term Multistate Performance Test refers to the first of a two-part examination that assesses the applicant's knowledge of fundamental lawyering skills. The Multistate Performance Test, or MPT, is sponsored by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The purpose of the test is to ensure individuals have the skills necessary to practice law in areas such as constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, evidence, real property and torts.
In the United States, local state boards of law examiners grant an individual a license to practice their skills. The Multistate Performance Test, or MPT, is the first of two tests used by state boards to qualify candidates. The test is administered as part of a two day event occurring in late February and July each year. The MPT consists of two 90-minute problems that include the following components:
The skills tested in the MPT include the candidate's ability to separate relevant from irrelevant facts, analyze statutes, apply the law to solve a problem, identify potential ethical dilemmas, and communicate effectively. Each jurisdiction determines how much weight is given to the MPT as well as passing scores. Those jurisdictions that honor the Uniform Bar Examination give the MPT a weight of 20%.
The candidate's answers are reviewed by testing experts. Once this process is complete, scores are provided to the appropriate jurisdiction. Not all jurisdictions allow scores to be released to examinees. Results are typically considered valid for up to seven years. States oftentimes do not limit the number of times a candidate may attempt to pass the MPT.