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February 12, 2011


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Thanks for putting this poll together -- I look forward to the results. As I was taking the poll, it occurred to me that how I ranked some of the items might depend on whether I am using choosing a book for a new prep as opposed to a course I have taught many times before. For example, I love seeing sample syllabi for a new prep, but I rarely look at them for a course I've taught for years. Ditto for a course overview or outline. As a result, something like sample syllabi might be very important to a subset of potential adopters, but get ranked in the middle (on average) because another subset doesn't value them.


A couple suggestions:

1) Avoid tiny type, assuming you have any control over this. There's a Thomson book whose teacher's manual uses such small type that it's virtually unreadable. Lexis is generally much better about publishing teacher manual's or normal sized paper -- I started using mostly Thomson/West books, but now almost exclusively use Lexis books.

2) If your casebook employs Problems, then *please* reproduce both the questions and the answers in the teacher's supplement. Again, the trend with Thomson/West is to reproduce only the answers, whereas Lexis reproduces both the questions and the answer. I moved form West's leading Fed Tax Book to one published by Lexis mostly for this reason.

Michael Froomkin

Wow, am I out of step with the mainstream (but I suspected that). What I want more than anything else is a sample syllabus. Guessing how long things take, and especially figuring out what can safely be skipped, are for me the hardest thing to predict when using a new book.

The rest I can usually do myself, although sometimes, for an obscure question in the notes, it can be helpful to be told what the authors were trying to get at.

Jessica Litman

If a Casebook is in a new edition, one of the things I wish were in the teachers' manual is an explanation of what changes the authors made and why. I'm not talking here about subbing in a new case for an old case, so much as the rationales for reorganizing topics or changing emphases.

Supra TK Society

Every brave man is a man of his word

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