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Bluebook Introduction: Advanced Bluebooking

Cheatsheet for Journal Editors

Below are a few tips and tid-bits to help student, particularly journal editors with The Bluebook

Microsoft Word Tips

    • To open the Font Box and select SMALL CAPS
    • Word --> Preferences --> AutoCorrect --> AutoFormat as You Type --> [unselect] Internet and network paths with hyperlinks
    • Formatting, e.g., italicizing all “.” after “Id.”

Bluebook Journals

Columbia Law Review
Harvard Law Review
Pennsylvania Law Review
Yale Law Journal

STEAL THEIR CITATIONS (by searching HeinOnline Law Journal Library)

If no citation from any of these 4, look for a recent citation from another general law review

Example: "How to cite the current tax form 1040?"

Pincite to Page Numbers or Section

  • PAGE NUMBER for most things:
    • Nonperiodicals & PDFs
      • Content is never removed (no “at”) (R 3.2(a))
    • Primary law
      • Published chronologically (Fed. Reg., Statutes at Large)
    • Printed & PDF
      • Periodicals like newspapers and journals
    • Case reporters
  • SECTION for stuff that is organized by § or ¶ (R 3.3)
    • Primary Law
      • Published by subject (stat. & reg. codes, constitutions)
    • Some Books
      • That are organized by section (treatises and deskbooks)
  • BOTH?
    • Where helpful, some books (R 3.3)
    • Webpages, which have dynamic content (R 18.2.2(g))

"Official" State Statutory Code Years

R 12.2.1 (If possible, cite statutes currently in force to the current official code)

2 TYPES of published codes:

  1. Entire set republished all at once w/ intervening supplements
  2. New volumes published as necessary w/ annual supplements


  • Step 1: Use T1 to find the title of the state’s official code
  • Step 2: Who publishes this code? Lexis or West?—T1 will tell you. If no publisher listed, it’s state published 
  • Step 3: Google the title and publisher
  • Step 4: Find the title on the publisher’s website (e.g., California)

How to Cite an Unfamiliar Source

If it's not perfect, at least ensure that readers can find what you're citing to

⇒ Step 1: What is it? Can you locate other things like it?

  • Primary source (the law)?
    • Statute, case, regulation, constitution, legislative document?
  • Secondary source (about the law)?
    • Periodical , letter, presentation, book, report, blog post, website?

⇒ Step 2: What substantive rule applies?

  • Use the Bluebook's index

⇒ Step 3: Where's the "official" version of this thing published? 

  • Use Tables to find official versions

⇒ Step 4: Still unsure?

  • Ask for help by emailing a librarian
  • Borrow someone else's citation: Find how someone else has cited it

CILP - Current Index to Legal Periodicals

CILP is a publication that has been issued by the University of Washington School of Law’s Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library for nearly 90 years. Maintained diligently by an experienced team of editors, the publication indexes, by subject heading, the most recent issues of primarily American law journals. Since the 1960s, the index has been sent to its subscribers on a weekly basis.

Through CILP, law professors, lawyers, and law librarians receive timely topical access to more than 650 legal publications organized within 104 relevant subject headings. Also included are complete tables of contents from all journals indexed, as well as Bluebook citations.

William S. Hein & Co., Inc. and HeinOnline are proud to continue the publication of this crucial resource for legal scholars. Under Hein’s direction, the function and purpose of CILP will remain exactly the same—to provide a weekly, subject-categorized index of the most recent law journal issues.

For more information about this product, or how to access your subscription and manage SmartCILP notifications moving forward, please refer to HeinOnline’s website:

Journals included by CILP can found:

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