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Bluebook Legal Citation

A guide to legal citation using Bluebook rules.

Periodical Examples

Consecutively Paginated Periodical Example (including most law journals):

Pamela Samuelson, Functionality and Expression in Computer Programs: Refining the Tests for Software Copyright Infringement, 31 Berkeley Tech L.J. 1215 (2016).

Non-Consecutively Paginated Periodical Example (including most newspaper and magazines):

Adam Satariano, Law Bolsters Copyrights in Europe, N.Y Times, Mar. 27, 2019, at B1.

Non-Consecutively Paginated Periodical RulesPincite Rules

Author Rules

Bluebook Rule (21st): 16.2

Law Review Typeface: Ordinary

Authors of periodical articles are cited in much the same way as the Bluebook rule for authors of books and treatises, as discussed here in this guide. 

If an article has two authors, list both authors connected by an ampersand in the same order as they are listed in the original source:

Yuval Karniel & Stephen Bates, Copyright in Second Life, 20 Alb. J.L. Sci. & Tech. 433 (2010).

If an article has three or more authors, it is permissible to either give the first author's name followed by "et al." or list all authors as they appear.

Melissa L. Tatum, et al., Does Gender Influence Attitudes Toward Copyright in the Filk Community?, 18 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 219 (2009).

Typically, it is only necessary to list all authors when the identity of each author is important.

NOTE: When listing three or more authors, separate each name with a comma except for the final name, which is separated only by an ampersand without a comma.

Melissa L. Tatum, Robert Spoo & Benjamin Pope, Does Gender Influence Attitudes Toward Copyright in the Filk Community?, 18 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 219 (2009).

Title Rules

Bluebook Rule (21st): 16.3

Law Review Typeface: Italics

A periodical article's title should be included in full, just as it appears in the original source, but should be in italics and capitalized according to Bluebook rule 8.

If a word (such as a case name) is italicized in the title in the original source, this word should appear in ordinary Roman type in the citation.

Kristina N. Spencer, Using Copyright Remedies to Promote Efficiency in the Open Source Regime in Wake of Jaobsen v. Katzer, 6 J.L. Econ. & Pol'y. 63 (2009).

NOTE: Additional guidance as to which words should appear in ordinary Roman type is found in Bluebook rule 2.2.

Consecutively Paginated Periodicals

Bluebook Rule (21st): 16.4

Law Review Typeface: Smallcaps

The proper Bluebook citation for articles appearing in consecutively paginated journals is author, title, volume number, abbreviation of the periodical name, first page of the article, and specific pages cited (if any), and year:

Pamela Samuelson, Functionality and Expression in Computer Programs: Refining the Tests for Software Copyright Infringement, 31 Berkeley Tech L.J. 1215, 1258–67 (2016).


If a journal does not otherwise indicate the volume number, but does continuous pagination across issues, use the year as the volume number.

Volume numbers should always be given as Arabic numerals even if the original source uses Roman numerals.

Indicate special issues and publications if they do not conform to the consecutively paginated publication schedule.

Note: Issue numbers are never included in Bluebook citations, even if readily indicated in the original source.

Example: Paul D. Clement, Theory and Structure in the Executive Branch, 2011 U. Chi. Legal. F. 1.

Journal Name

The name of the journal should be written using small caps type face.

Example: Tex. L. Rev.

Journal names are always abbreviated according to tables T6T10, and T13.

NOTE: Previous editions of the Bluebook sometimes included multiple abbreviations for the same word, depending on the context. Abbreviations intended for use in case names appeared in table T6, but a different abbreviation for the same word might appear in table T13 for periodical titles. The 21st edition of the Bluebook has brought these tables into alignment, creating a unified set of abbreviations across T6, T10, and T13, with one abbreviation per word. 

Pages and Pincites
In your citation to a journal article, immediately following the name of the journal, you should indicate the page on which the article begins. Immediately after the first page, you should place a comma followed by a pinpoint citation to specific pages after a comma. 

Non-Consecutively Paginated Periodicals

Bluebook Rule (21st): 16.5

The proper bluebook citation for nonconsecutively paginated journals and magazines is: author, title of work (in italics), periodical name (in small caps), date of issue as it is on the cover, the word at, first page of the work


Adam Satariano, Law Bolsters Copyrights in Europe, N.Y Times, Mar. 27, 2019, at B1. 


If there is no author, you should begin the citation with the title.

Short Form Rules

Bluebook Rule (21st): 16.9

Law Review Typeface: Id. and supra should be in italics.

Use id. when the work is cited immediately previously, either in the same footnote or as the only authority in a previous footnote.

For supra, include the author's last name before the supra. If there is no author, use the title, or use "hereinafter" to establish a short name for the citation.