Editors of the Harvard Law Review announced the launch of an online version of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation on February 15. The standard citation guide for American legal writing, The Bluebook is widely used throughout legal practice, by paralegals, attorneys, professors, and students.
“It has been an exhausting year of work, but satisfying, often fun, and always a great education,” said Derek Alexander ’08, who created and led the project. “We answer citation questions daily from legal writing instructors and paralegals, but also from those further afield: from enlisted soldiers in Iraq helping prepare court-martial documents for officers defending and prosecuting American troops, and from foreign high courts interpreting a citation. This correspondence helps us understand the wide array of needs The Bluebook must meet, usually by the citation rules themselves, but sometimes through the means of presentation. We hope The Bluebook Online will meet many of those needs, and enable better access to citation guidance for legal writers generally.”
The new online format responds to longstanding requests for a fully-featured electronic edition of The Bluebook that is easier to search, use, and teach. It allows practitioners and students with jurisdiction-specific or publication-specific citation rules to combine them with the general rules of The Bluebook, and it makes an essential tool of legal writing fully accessible to the visually impaired. The online version is also designed to allow future editions to address a wide array of foreign, international, and administrative material much more fully than is possible in the confines of a small printed handbook.
“This has been a yearlong project that took a tremendous amount of work, but I could not be happier with the final product,” said outgoing Harvard Law Review President Andrew Crespo ’08. “Students, paralegals and lawyers have been asking for an online version of the Bluebook for quite a while, and I’m so happy that we can finally offer such a professional and user-friendly website.”
Now in its eighteenth edition, The Bluebook was first compiled in 1926 by Erwin Griswold ’28 S.J.D. ’29, then an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and later dean of Harvard Law School. It is now published by the Harvard Law Review as a wholly student-run joint project of the Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal.