I could really use a low-cost legal research tool. What are my options?

Conor Jensen

The State Bar of Texas is the first and only bar association to offer its members free access to both Casemaker and Fastcase. Get access to Texas Supreme Court opinions, Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, U.S. Supreme Court opinions, and additional information. Access both Fastcase and Casemaker through your My Bar Page account here or your TexasBarCLE account.

How do I effectively search in my Online manual?

Texas Bar Books Staff

If you are searching for one term in the Online manual, just type it in the manual’s search field. If you would like search results for a precise phrase or string of words, use quotation marks (e.g., “Statutes of Limitations”). If you want search results that include “Statutes” but not “Limitations,” use the term “NOT” (e.g., Statutes NOT Limitations). The Boolean terms AND and OR also apply.

What forms are included in the manual?

Texas Bar Books Staff

The Online manuals contain all of the content of the printed books as web pages accessible via any Internet browser on any device able to access the Internet, and the digital downloads contain all of the books’ content in PDF. This content includes all of the books’ forms in both cases. Forms in Word, Excel, and PDF Online manuals and most digital downloads also include State Bar of Texas–copyrighted forms from the books as downloadable, editable text files in MS Word and, in some cases, Excel. Some products also include the full text of selected CLE articles from the TexasBarCLE Online Library or forms available from state and federal agencies as individual PDF files. Digital downloads of the Texas Pattern Jury Charges series (both civil and criminal) contain charge language/instruction files in Word. Texas Bar Books toolbar Although all of the products’ Word files are compatible with both Word on Windows and Word for Macintosh, the Texas Bar Books toolbar is specifically designed for use with Word on Windows systems only. Instructional language is included in the Word forms as hidden text. Be aware that this language will be included in your completed forms unless you specifically delete it.

How do I use the Texas Bar Books toolbar?

Texas Bar Books Staff

What is the Texas Bar Books Toolbar for Word?  The Texas Bar Books toolbar is a macro file that you can add to Word.  It will help you more easily manipulate the forms provided with the online subscription and digital download practice manuals, as well as with the digital downloads of Guardianship Alternatives and Law Office Road Map.  The toolbar may be used to—  view or hide the instructions embedded in the forms;  find and highlight the next variable, instruction, or optional text;  browse, select, and copy clause text from forms that are collections of clauses;  retain the embedded instructions for viewing while you work on your hard drive but prevent them from printing on your hard copies; and  delete the embedded instructions entirely on forms you plan to email or file electronically.  Note: The Texas Bar Books Toolbar is compatible with Word on Windows systems only. If you have a different operating system or word processor, learn how to manipulate forms content without the toolbar here. How to Download and Install the Texas Bar Books Toolbar for Word  Your Texas Bar Books digital practice manual download includes the toolbar.  You can find it in the Forms folder included with your downloaded materials.  …

What devices are Texas Bar Practice products compatible with?

Texas Bar Books Staff

Online manual You may use the Online manuals with any device that has Internet access and browser software or a browser app, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. The layout of the site will respond to whatever device you are using for an optimal user experience. Digital download Software for viewing PDF files is required to view the digital download’s main PDF file. Although any PDF file software or app will be able to display that file’s content, to use the bookmarks, links, and other advanced features, we recommend the free Adobe Reader software (available at http://get.adobe.com/reader/) installed on a desktop or laptop. Downloaded forms To download forms in MS Word, Excel, or PDF from the online subscription or with the digital download, the device must be one that can download and save files, and to manipulate the forms, the device must be able to use those types of files. Texas Bar Books toolbar The Texas Bar Books toolbar is compatible with Word on Windows only and must have been installed locally to function. Although the toolbar can be extremely beneficial when manipulating the Word forms, it is not required. Learn how to install the toolbar here, or watch …

Is my work in an online manual saved when I log out?

Texas Bar Books Staff

Yes. Customer feedback convinced us that storing your work in previous sessions for reference at any time on any device would provide vital information in many situations, such as in court, in meetings with judges or opposing counsel, or when working from home.

How secure is the information I enter when using an online manual?

Texas Bar Books Staff

When you download a Word version of a form and enter client information, the editable form exists on your device. As long as you save the completed form on your device, it will be as secure as any other information you have stored. When you use the bookmarking, highlighting, or note-taking features of the Online manual, that information is stored on servers. Although your saved bookmarks, highlights, and notes will be accessible to only someone accessing the Online manual through your account, you are strongly advised against using these features to add information that might be considered confidential client information. The State Bar of Texas makes no representations concerning whether entering confidential client information would or would not constitute a breach of confidentiality.

How do I modify my downloaded forms?

Texas Bar Books Staff

You can modify your downloaded Word forms the same way you would any other document, or for greater efficiency, use the Texas Bar Books toolbar. “Edit Document” mode In Word, toggle between Read mode and Edit Document mode using the View tab. Read-only, compatibility mode Your downloaded Word forms are set as read-only so that after you make changes to one and try to save it, you’ll be prompted to Save As instead. That way, you’ll end up with both your modified version named whatever you want and saved wherever you want as well as the original downloaded form ready for use again with a different client. Hidden text Many forms include instructions as red-colored hidden text to help you prepare the form. These instructions should be deleted before printing a finished form or sharing it electronically. In Word, toggle between showing and hiding the instructions—or permanently delete the instructions—by clicking the appropriate button on the Texas Bar Books toolbar. If you don’t have the toolbar installed, to show or hide the instructions, use Word’s File tab. Select File > Options > Display and check or uncheck the “Hidden text” box. Choosing/replacing form variables Use the Texas Bar Books toolbar …