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Law Review Sources Guide: Bluebook Rules

The Bluebook's rules about sources and the reality of available sources

Bluebook Rules

Bluebook Tables 1-5: provide a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction, hierarchical list of which sources to cite. Table 1: United States Jurisdictions, and Tables 3-5 are in the Bluebook. Table 2: Foreign Jurisdictions is only available online.

Table 2: Foreign Jurisdictions

Remember, these are the authoritative sources for Bluebook (law school) purposes. Many of these rules are overruled by local court rules.

Rule 18.2: "The Bluebook requires the use and citation of traditional printed sources when available, unless there is a digital copy of the source that is authenticated, official, or an exact copy …". Exact copy is defined as a copy that preserves pagination "and other attributes of the printed work (such as a PDF)."

Extrapolated Bluebook Hierarchy

For use when citing a source not mentioned in Tables 1 - 5:

  1. A paper source from an official publisher
  2. A scan or facsimile of a paper source from an official publisher
  3. A paper source from West or LexisNexis
  4. A scan or facsimile of a paper source from West or LexisNexis
  5. Is an electronic version from an official publisher better than an electronic version from Westlaw or Lexis? No idea.