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Legal Studies Guide

Use this guide to help find legal resources available to you at Fant Memorial Library, including materials--cases, statues, legal reference, law reviews, etc.--help from research experts, and spaces for you to work and study.

Reading a Legal Citation

Legal citations are references to a specific legal authority.  Like non-legal citations, legal citations are a shorthand method of identifying a source, such as a constitution, statute, reported case, regulation, treatise, or law review article.  Legal citations often include volume numbers, titles of publications, page or section numbers, and dates.  Titles of legal authorities are often abbreviated, which can make them confusing to non-law librarians who are used to working with other citation manuals.

Guidance on the proper citation format to use can be found in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, now in the Twentieth Edition.  The Bluebook is divided into the Bluepages, the Whitepages, and Tables.  The Bluepages present brief how-to instructions on basic legal citation, while the Whitepages cover citation styles and standards in more depth.  The Tables provide important instructions on how to correctly abbreviate in legal citations, including how to abbreviate the titles of state and federal primary sources.

Georgetown Law's Case Citations Tutorial