Shedding the Uniform: Beyond a 'Uniform System of Citation' to a More Efficient Fit

41 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015 Last revised: 26 Jan 2020

See all articles by Susie Salmon

Susie Salmon

The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: September 1, 2015

Abstract

This article brings a fresh perspective to the ongoing conversation about legal citation format: By highlighting the costs that the fetishization of “perfect” citation format imposes on legal education, the legal profession, and our system of justice, this article encourages us to seize the opportunity that technology presents to implement a more just, sane philosophy of legal citation. Tracing the history of legal citation from its origins in Rome, this article thoroughly debunks any notions of one citation manual’s inherent superiority as a citation tool and instead suggests a return to first principles: an approach to citation that ensures accuracy, brevity, clarity, and efficiency.

This article does not simply criticize The Bluebook: Many have trod that ground before. Nor does it advocate for a particular alternative citation manual. Rather, it urges that educators and the profession adopt a real-world approach to citation that embraces the opportunities technology offers. It then goes on to offer concrete steps that law schools, the legal profession, and The Bluebook’s editors themselves can take to create a saner, more cost-effective philosophy of legal citation.

Keywords: Bluebook, legal citation, hyperlink, ALWD, access to justice, efficiency, legal profession, Maroonbook

Suggested Citation

Salmon, Susie, Shedding the Uniform: Beyond a 'Uniform System of Citation' to a More Efficient Fit (September 1, 2015). 99 Marquette Law Review 763 (2016), Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 15-31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2654501

Susie Salmon (Contact Author)

The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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