Texas Bar Flash, P. O. Box 161345, Austin, TX 78716-1345 firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTION #1 OF ALL TIME: How often do you update the material? We review the material on a continuous basis. Utilizing online databases, printed material, and references to current changes in the law, we make revisions to the material as we become aware of changes in the law. Each section is reviewed at least once, sometimes more, in a twelve to eighteen month cycle. On average, we make changes to about four or five sections every six months.
It is important to remember that
1. The bar exam frequently does not reflect changes in the law until up to two years after such changes have taken effect. So, even though a legislative session may revise a statute in May, 2011, the statute may not take effect until September, 2011. It may be at in the 2013 exam cycle before that change is reflected in the bar exam.
2. The bar exam covers material that simply doesn't change that much from year to year. Basic procedural and evidence standards have remained the same for years. Hearsay is hearsay is hearsay and has remained so for quite some time.
Our review is intended to examine each section of the TBF at least once every twelve months. In some cycles, there are more changes made than in others, e.g. the changes made to the book when business organizations code changed. In most cycles, statutory changes are relatively few.
We've been doing this now for over seven years. We'll be honest though: on average, we receive maybe one complaint per year that a point of law is presented incorrectly. That is, every other exam cycle, somebody will point out a minor error. BUT, overall, we are very proud of our success rate and the vast majority of our customers are satisfied too. See our return rate below.
QUESTION #2: What Will I Receive? You will receive an eighty page book, each page of which looks a great deal like the sample pages. The book is designed to be carried with you and used. Use it to review, use it in every spare moment that you have to study. This is how people who have written us have told us the TBE was successful in helping them pass the bar exam. Read their letters here.
Passing the bar exam demands you spend the time needed commit basic rules to memory and this book is designed to be used, one time, for about two months. Break it apart, highlight it, mark it up and use it to build memory muscle.
QUESTION #3: Is an electronic version available? Not at this time. We are working on providing an electronic version soon. In the meantime, remember that the book is meant to be taken with you. Take it with you into the coffee shop, take it to the restaurant, take it to the restroom. The real value of TBF comes from using it to reinforce--ALL THE TIME--the drills and practice questions you will encounter with traditional study materials. When you review your answers, consider how your answer could have been enhanced with contra-considerations, alternatives, and issues that can only be addressed by reviewing the elements of the contention before you.
QUESTION #4: What is the return policy? We've never had a formal return policy because out of nearly2,000 books shipped in the last seven years, fewer about five customers have asked for a refund; that's less than a third of one-percent who as for a refund. You can't please everybody.
Nonetheless, some people seem to feel better if there is a return policy; so, here it is: If you are dissatisfied, return the book and we will refund your money.
Now, we do have to protect ourself a little bit because, after all, we are lawyers.
FIRST. You must ship the book back to us within three days of your receiving it. The book really does look like the sample pages; there are no surprises. So, your return package must be postmarked no later than the third day after your receipt of the book. Receive the book on January 15; you must ship the book back to us, based on postmark, by January 18. Yes, one person did try to return a book after a month and about a day or two before the exam. That won't work. SECOND. The book must be in a condition such that it could be resold as new. In other words, don't try to tear it apart or crease the cover, copy it, and THEN try to return the book. That wouldn't be fair. Once again, yes, a person sent us a book the cover of which had obviously been creased as it lay under a copying machine cover. THIRD. Shipping and handling charges are non-refundable. We don't get our money back from the post office and you don't either.
Otherwise, we want you to be satisfied. At the end of the day, it's not worth it to us to have any hassles.
NOT SURE OF THE CONCEPT?
Put yourself in the position of being a grader. You are faced with a stack of exams and not much time to grade each one. You don't want a bunch of fluff. You want to ensure the test taker understands the basic concepts. Does the test taker know what law is applicable to the facts given. You are looking for a demonstration of knowledge, of highlights, of concepts, key points. Don't believe it? CLICK HERE FOR JULY, 2008 "Common Problems Observed" by examiners grading the July, 2008 exam. The grader's comments indicate that "the most common problem" was one of not stretching to include that final point of law. That extra little bit of law that completely answers the question. The other issue we notice was the examiner's notation that the question "called upon examinees to demonstrate knowledge" of requisites applicable to the facts given. See Answer 11 under Criminal Procedure: "A common problem for most examinees was not knowing the time limit within which a search warrant must be executed." [See p. 11 of TBF]
THIS DOES NOT REQUIRE A HIGH- LEVEL INTELLECTUAL DISCOURSE; THIS IS A SIMPLE FACT OF LAW. THAT IS WHAT TBF DOES, IT CONDENSES ALL THESE FACTS INTO ONE MANAGEABLE CONTAINER.
Need another example? CLICK HERE FOR JULY 2007 COMMENTS by the BLE examiners. The General Recommendations tell you, first, to "carefully read the question and the 'call of the question.'" The last sentence, however, instructs you to "avoid lengthy or unnecessary discussion of general or extraneous matters." In other words, "demonstrate knowledge" of the law; nothing else. Look at Question 2 of the Consumer Rights section. "Problems in less successful answers" included "recognizing that the facts presented . . . violated the Texas DCPA without explaining why such acts were in violation of the DCPA." In other words, the examinee could not list the elements of DCPA violation. (See TBF p. 51)
TBF is one more tool in your belt. One more way to build memory. Don't lose points because your are one of the examinees who "did not recognize the rule concerning the disposal of community property when intestate spouses die within 120 hours of each other. (TBF p. 43)
We don't use more recent examples of comments because the Board of Legal Examiners doesn't provide them.
"Starting with the February 2009 exam, the Texas Board of Law Examiners began publishing selected examinee answers for essay questions 1 through 12 (in lieu of commenting on common problems or errors for these items)."