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Legal Citation Guides and Abbreviations


Part of doing legal research is citing your authorities properly and tracking down items with unfamiliar citations. This research guide lists citation manuals and dictionaries of legal abbreviations to help you with these tasks.

When filing legal documents with a court, court rules of citation apply. Consult court rules for required citation format, usually found in the jurisdiction's Rules of Procedure. When submitting written work to non-law journals, consult the journal to determine preferred citation format.

Legal Citation Guides (US-based)

The Bluebook is the main citation manual for law in the U.S.  This guide lists Bluebook alternatives, but you should assume that Bluebook format is preferred by academic law journals and law school writing programs.

The Bluebook

Bluebook Aids

Bluebook Alternatives

Foreign and International Citation Guides

Tax Citation Guides

U.S. Court and Government Citation Manuals and Style Guides

Legal Citation Guides (Other Countries)

Citation Guides for Foreign Law

General (Nonlegal) Citation Guides

Citation Management Software

Citation Guides for Online Sources

The Bluebook has a rule for citing Internet resources, but the following guides are more detailed and may provide extra guidance.

Legal Abbreviation Lists

Abbreviations used in legal citation are often inscrutable, e.g., 54 F.R.D. 85 or 32 L. Ed. 2d 95. Before you can track down a publication, you need to figure out its complete title. The following abbreviation lists are usage oriented and include variants of citations as well as standard forms.

In addition to those listed here, Harvard Law School Library has many other jurisdiction-specific legal abbreviation lists. To locate them, use this  HOLLIS search and add your jurisdiction.

General (Nonlegal) Abbreviation Lists

The following lists are in addition to legal abbreviation lists.  They will help you find the full names or words from government, legal, medical, military, and technical abbreviations.

Abbreviations and Acronyms Lists


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