The trick of the MPT is to complete it in time constraint – 90 minutes. It’s a race between you and the clock. How can you best use your time? This post discusses how you should approach the MPT in order to save you the most time in the little time you have to complete this task.
Here’s the golden standard:
- First 45 minutes: read the task memo, the library, and the file, and outline your document.
- Next 40 minutes: write the analysis and body of your MPT.
- Final 5 minutes: edit and proofread.
Let’s get a bit more specific:
- Read the task memo carefully. This is the most important document in your MPT. The task memo tells you the legal issues you need to address. This begins your outline – write down the legal issues identified in your task memo. It also tells you which document you need to produce and what it should look like. You should always refer back to your task memo to make sure you are on track. [First 45 minutes]
- Skim the file and the library. Check to see how many sources you have in both your file and your library. This will ease your mind and prepare you for what you’re about to work with. [First 45 minutes]
- Set up your document. Your task memo will tell you what you are completing, whether it is a memo, a brief, or a letter, Go ahead and set it up right away after reading the proper format guidelines in your MPT. This will make you feel better, and help when you’re outlining.
- Read the library and begin outlining. Your task memo gives you the legal issues you need to answer. The law in your library gives you the law you need to answer these issues. The law also gives you your outline and set up for your entire MPT. When you’re going through the library, already be writing your rule statements. This way, you’re outlining and writing portions of your MPT at the same time. [First 45 minutes]
- Read the file and outline the facts. After you have your MPT set up and outlined with the law, bullet point the facts underneath the law. In this way, when you’re writing the rest of your MPT, you have the facts you need – you just need to craft them into an analysis. [First 45 minutes]
- Write your MPT. At this point, you have your whole document set up, you have an outline of your structure, and your rule statements are written. So, what’s next? Write your MPT! Write the Introduction, if one is necessary, write your analysis, and write your conclusion. Remember in your analysis, you should always interweave fact and law, and you should compare/contrast your case to the cases given to you in your library. [Second 40 minutes]
- Review and edit your MPT. Leaving 5 minutes at the end for a quick review and edit is important. Your MPT is a legal document you are handing in, hypothetically, to a lawyer or a judge. You want it to be polished and look professional. Allowing yourself some time to review and edit will help you with this. [Final 5 minutes]
What makes this approach different than most others? It allows you to both outline and write your MPT at the same exact time when going through the library, which saves students a significant amount of time. Hence, “survival” method. Surviving the time!
Practice makes perfect with the MPT. The more of them you write, the better you get with time. Trust me on this. Do not put off practicing the MPT. If you think about it, this portion of the bar exam is easy points – you don’t have to memorize anything for it! You just have to complete it. Keep checking back for more MPT-advice posts along the way!