What are Bluebook citations?

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, prescribes the most commonly used legal citation system for law professionals in the United States. The Bluebook is compiled by the Harvard Law Review Association, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and the Yale Law Journal.

Generations of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges and other legal professionals have relied on the Bluebook’s unique system of citing in their writing.

How to create Bluebook citations

There are many sources supported within The Bluebook including legal cases, Supreme Court cases and statutes. The way in which citations are formatted depends on which type of source you are citing.

A case citation, for example, includes the name of the case; the published sources in which it may be found, if any; a parenthetical that indicates a court and jurisdiction and the year or date of decision; and the subsequent history of case, if any. It may also include additional parenthetical information and prior history of the case.

It’s important to note that the format in which your source should be cited depends on a number of factors (filed but not decided, unpublished interim order etc.) explained in most detail in the latest version of The Bluebook, Edition 19; alternatively, check with your lecturer if you are unsure.

Looking for a simpler option? Generate your citations using Cite This For Me’s Bluebook citation generator within seconds. Fast, accurate and hassle free, it’s citations made easy.

Bluebook citation example

Legal case citation (filed but not decided):

Sobieski v. Cook, 556 S.W.2d 701 (Tenn. 1999).