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Bluebook Legal Citation

A guide to legal citation using Bluebook rules.

Volumes, parts, supplements

Bluebook Rule (21st): 3.1

Law Review Typeface: N/A


Numbered volumes are cited in Arabic numerals (1,2,3), not Roman numerals (I,II,III), even if that is how they appear in the original.

If the author being cited is the author of all volumes of a multi-volume work like a treatise, the volume number goes before the author's name:

1 Patry on Copyright § 1.18 (2012).

In all other cases, the volume number should proceed the name of the work:

Edward Lee, Copyright, Death, and Taxes, 47 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1 (2011).

If no volume is given but volumes are obviously arranged by year, use the year of publication as the volume number and omit the year from the parenthetical following the pincite, if any.

In other cases, it may be necessary to include volume information in square brackets to avoid confusion, such as when the original volume designation includes words.

Parts with unique pagination

If a work is subdivided into uniquely or separately paginated parts, include the relevant subdivision designations in the citation:

26 Cong. Rec. app. at 156 (1894) (statement of Rep. Hicks).


When a work includes separately paginated supplement volumes, such as pocket parts, identify the supplement and date parenthetically:

42 U.S.C. § 1397 (1982 & Supp. 1983).

Pages, footnotes, endnotes, and graphical materials

Bluebook Rule (21st): 3.2

Law Revie Typeface: N/A

Pages and pincites

Page numbers are typically cited following the name of a work and before a date parenthetical:

Julius G. Getman, Restoring the Power of Unions: It Takes a Movement 52 (2010).

For citations to an authority which is part of a larger, consecutively paginated source, such as case reporters or periodicals, include the page number on which the authority being cited begins:

Edgewater Foundation v. Thompson, 350 F.3d 694 (7th Cir. 2003).

When citing to a specific page in a citation that includes a page number use a comma to separate the pincite from the first page of the authority:

Yuval Karniel & Stephen Bates, Copyright in Second Life, 20 Alb. J.L. Sci. & Tech. 433, 442 (2010).

Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, 632 (1950).

If necessary to avoid confusion, use "at" before the pincite:

H.R. Rep. No. 105-452, at 11 (1998).

A span of multiple pages may be cited by giving the inclusive page numbers separated by either an en dash (–) or a hyphen (-). The final two digits are always important, but repetitious digits may be dropped:

H.R. Rep. No. 105-452, at 8-10 (1998).

Yuval Karniel & Stephen Bates, Copyright in Second Life, 20 Alb. J.L. Sci. & Tech. 433, 442-45 (2010).

"To" may be substituted for an en dash or hyphen to avoid confusion:

13-2.1 to 13-3

Citations to multiple, non-consecutive pages are separated by commas:

Edgewater Foundation v. Thompson, 350 F.3d 694, 695, 697 (7th Cir. 2003).

Stars in star pagination should be retained in all instances other than a consecutive page span:

United States v. Mazarella, 2010 WL 2947233, at *3, *9-12 (3d Cir. July 29, 2010).

United States v. Mazarella, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 15655, at *24, *25-26 (3d Cir. July 29, 2010).

Footnotes & Endnotes

For a citation directly to a footnote, give the page number on which the note begins, the abbreviation "n." and the footnote number. 

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, 230 n.42 (2009).

A citation to multiple footnotes uses the abbreviation "nn." instead of "n.":

230 nn.42-44

Graphical Materials

When citing to things like tables, charts, or other graphical materials, you should give the page number on which the item appears and the designation that the source gives it (if any). There should not be a space between the abbreviation of the source type and the number.

If you cite multiple graphical materials on the same page, use commas and ampersands (&) to separate them.

Sections and paragraphs

Bluebook Rule (21st): 3.3

Law Review Typeface: N/A


If an authority is organized by section (§), you should cite to the section:

17 U.S.C. § 411 (2006).


If an authority like a looseleaf is organized by paragraph (¶), you should cite to the relevant paragraph. If an authority is organized by paragraphs that are not introduced by the ¶ symbol, use the abbreviation "para." instead. However, do not cite by paragraph if the authority is ordinarily cited by page.

Do not use "at" before the § or ¶  symbols.