Executive Director's Report • December 2023

Grading the Texas Bar Journal

Headshot of Trey Apffel

Eleven times a year, the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors and staff work to achieve a tall task: produce a monthly journal that appeals to a diverse audience of more than 111,000 lawyers spread across our state’s 268,596 square miles.

Every few years, we reach out to you, our readers, to see how well we are meeting that challenge. The State Bar of Texas Research & Analysis Department surveys a representative sample of our membership to gauge what you are liking and not liking about the bar’s official publication. The results of the 2023 readership survey are in and, it turns out, you are finding a lot to like.

Most survey respondents are frequent readers (58%) and have read at least three of the past four issues (64%). Most believe the TBJ is credible/reliable (84%), well written (81%), and contains practical, useful information (80%). And most agree it has an attractive design/format (72%).1

Which features are most popular? The Disciplinary Actions tops that list (60% are frequent readers), followed by the Ethics Question of the Month (56%), Classified Advertising and Memorials (53% each), and Humor (49%). In terms of format, the primary way respondents read the TBJ remains the print edition (74%). When asked if they would prefer to read the magazine solely electronically, 77% of respondents answered no, which is why we remain committed to a print edition.2

Of course, there is always room for improvement. Judging from the responses, we can do a better job of promoting the journal’s online and digital-magazine formats, which are relatively unknown and underused. Also, some respondents don’t believe the TBJ adequately covers their practice area or geographical region. To those of you who provided constructive criticism, we hear you and will work harder to serve your needs.

If you didn’t get the chance to answer the survey and would like to provide feedback, I welcome your letters to the editor (tbj@texasbar.com) or personal correspondence (trey.apffel@texasbar.com). If you’re interested in writing articles for the TBJ, please go to texasbar.com/submissions. The journal relies entirely on submissions for legal articles, and we are always looking for new writers.

The Texas Bar Journal is the most visible and, I believe, one of the most valuable benefits the State Bar offers its members. I want to thank our board of editors—volunteer lawyers from across Texas—for their many hours spent reviewing legal article submissions, along with our editorial staff for their efforts in making it so.


Executive Director, State Bar of Texas
Editor in Chief, Texas Bar Journal


1. The survey had a margin of error of 2%. Go to texabar.com/tbjsurvey to read the full report.

2. If you receive the TBJ print edition and would like to switch to electronic only, please email your request to memmail@texasbar.com.

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