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Is It Important For Attorneys To Count On The Bluebook?

Posted: November 14, 2019 at 4:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Bluebook is undoubtedly one of the most important documents for a professional lawyer. It’s the absolute guide on legal citation as incorporated by the US. The Bluebook is a collaborative effort between University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review and Harvard Law Association. Now, the question comes is it really important for attorneys to consult the Bluebook. Well, if you want a one-word answer it is “Yes”. Please read below for further explanation.

It is expected from a lawyer to produce clear, concise and accurate citations when they submit their paper. And this is a very basic expectation both on the part of your readers and judges.

As a lawyer, you are supposed to be extremely detail-oriented. Citation is one of the most crucial details to validate your argument and the paper you submit to the court. In other words, citations would help you to get a solid footing for your argument and also enable you to create a positive impression before the judges. Any mis-step here could earn poor review from the judges. It’s to stress here the best of judges are very particular about proper citations in submitted papers. A document that comes with accurate citations would soon be dubbed as “second-rate”. Since the Bluebook is like your Holy Bible of citations, as a professional attorney you must count on it at every step.

It’s to stress here that usage of the Bluebook is largely determined by the mode of professional practice of law firms in Harrisburg. If an attorney practices as a litigator, then the Bluebook is a must for him/her. But, if the lawyer is mostly a transactional counsel who is usually involved in administrative filings- then s/he may not need the document as  much as a litigator. However, a transactional counsel too would need the Bluebook while double-checking citations while writing a legal post or whitepaper.