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Legal Citation

Bluebook and ALWD Manual

Transitioning from ALWD to Bluebook

The citations resulting from ALWD will be identical to Bluebook, except a few very minor differences.

"In the seventh edition, every sentence that has a corresponding rule in the 21st edition of The Bluebook is followed by an endnote reference to Appendix 8 in the Guide, which provides the rule citation for The Bluebook."  
Guide to Legal Citation, ALWD, (last visited Feb. 14, 2023).

"In some instances, the Bluebook does not address a specific point. For example, how does someone cite to an interview — especially an interview conducted on Zoom? ..."  Arizonalib, What’s New in the ALWD 7th Edition? CRIV BLOG (Sept. 15, 2021),

"Some differences between ALWD and the Bluebook do appear. They are small, but interesting. For example, the Bluebook uses “e-mail.” ALWD dispenses with the hyphen and uses “email.” ALWD changed LEXIS to Lexis....ALWD suggests being specific about the database being cited. For example, if the user’s research comes from using Westlaw Classic, state Westlaw Classic (not just Westlaw) in the citation. On the other hand, if the user’s research comes from using Westlaw Edge, state Westlaw Edge in the citation (again, not just Westlaw)." Id. 


ALWD Users Using Bluebook

If you learned ALWD and want to use Bluebook, the main difference is that Bluebook is divided into the Blue pages, for citations in memos and briefs (practitioner citations) and the White pages for academic citations (in law review articles and law school papers).  Sometimes the Blue pages are not detailed enough, so the Blue pages contain references to the White pages which should be consulted even when doing practitioner citations. (page 2 of the Bluebook, 21st ed.). 

Using ALWD for Academic Footnote Citations

If you want to use ALWD for citations in an academic article, especially pay attention to ALWD rules:

  •  1.4 (When to Use Large and Small Capital Letters).
  • 11.1(d) (Frequency of Full Citations in Academic Footnotes),
  • 11.4(d)(Appropriate Uses of Supra in Academic Footnotes),
  • 11.4(e)(Short Citations Using Supra in Academic Footnotes),
  • 11.5(c)(Appropriate Uses of Hereinafter in Academic Footnotes),
  • 12.16(g)(Short Citations to Cases in Academic Footnotes.) 

You will see that these rules are marked with an icon for "Academic Formatting".

Also, many of the main rules in ALWD include an example for academic formatting in the Fast Formats table at the beginning of the  main rule (eg. Rule 13, Rule 14, etc.) as well as a subsection of the rule that tells you how to do an academic footnote (e.g. Rule 13.2(e) - Full Citations to Constitutions for Academic Footnotes.)