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Legal Abbreviations and Citations Guide


This guide is intended to provide basic information on how to cite to U.S. legal sources as well as to help you interpret citations you come across in your legal research. The citation formats presented in this guide follow The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, which is one of the most widely recognized legal citation manuals in the United States.

For help in understanding the citation rules in The Bluebook, consult one or both of the following sources.

An alternative legal citation manual is the ALWD Citation Manual: A Professional System of Citation. While the ALWD manual is not as widely used as The Bluebook, it is used in a number of law school legal writing programs.

There is also a citation manual specifically geared to California called the California Style Manual: A Handbook of Legal Style for California Courts and Lawyers. This manual should be used if you are filing a document in a California state court.

Finally, if you come across a legal abbreviation and it is not listed in this guide, you may wish to consult a dictionary of legal abbreviations.

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