“. . . the rules for citations are no longer subject only to the determinations of student-edited law reviews. An outstanding alternative is now available: The Association of Legal Writing Directors—the scholarly association for those who teach legal writing in law schools—with the able editorship of Darby Dickerson of Stetson has completed the Citation Manual which is now available from Aspen. Not only does it look to be a great improvement over past codifications of citation rules (for one thing, it eliminates the confusing and unnecessary variation in citation rules between legal documents and law review footnotes), the Citation Manual is likely to become the standard in the future if for no other reason than most of our students will be using this rulebook in their legal writing courses. Congratulations to the Association of Legal Writing Directors on this publication. I am delighted that the true experts in the field, the professional leaders in this area of practice, have made this contribution.”

Gregory Sisk
Richard M. & Anita Calkins
Distinguished Professor
Drake University Law School

“I have reviewed a fair portion of the ALWD citation book, and I must say I was quite disappointed. Where’s the frustration? Where’s the irritation? There was no feeling of confusion and anger at being incapable of deciphering the code that is The Bluebook. Where’s the feeling of contentment that it is all right not to cite something correctly, because the chances of anyone else discovering your error are so slim? What are all of those examples doing in there?!

In short, although there will be some initial difficulties, in the long run this is the way to go.

I really was very impressed with it. As much as anything else, it just doesn’t feel so pompous. I also love the inclusion of computer ‘how to’s,’ specific to Word and WordPerfect. That will be a huge help to all, but especially to older practitioners who may not be well-versed in computers. I also like the indicators for where spaces belong, that is a nice feature.

The only thing I ran into that wasn’t totally user-friendly were the green periods to indicate inclusion in underlines or italics. It is very difficult to distinguish between the black and the green.

We are going to begin using the manual immediately for all work from here on out. I have already directed all members to purchase the book.”

Todd Chason
University of Baltimore

“The ALWD guide seeks to adopt a flexible approach with a single set of consistent rules versus the crazy quilt of Blue Book rules. The book is user friendly with a two-color interior design highlighting key points versus the drab Blue Book that terrorizes generations of first year students.

The ALWD guide brings common sense to the common law.

I found the ALWD guide to be much more user friendly than the Blue Book. However, I predict that it will take a decade or more before the ALWD guide displaces the Blue Book. Rural sociologists found that farmers were reluctant to adopt superior corn varieties because of their greater familiarity with the varieties which were less productive. The superior seed varieties were adopted by the mass of other farmers only after seeing the greater productivity of the new varieties. What is true for seed corn is also true for legal citation authorities.”

Michael Rustad
Professor of Law and Director of the High Technology Law Program
Suffolk University Law School

Bibliography of Reviews of the ALWD Citation Manual

Download PDF file (16 kb)

  • Christine Hurt, Network Effects and Legal Citation: How Antitrust Theory Predicts Who Will Build a Better Bluebook Mousetrap in the Age of Electronic Mice, 87 Iowa L. Rev. 1257 (2002).
  • Alex Glashausser, Citation and Representation, 55 Vand. L. Rev. 59 (2002).
  • Wayne Schiess, Meet ALWD: The New Citation Manual, 64 Tex. B.J. 911 (Oct. 2001).
  • C. Edward Good, Will the ALWD Manual v. the Bluebook be the Trial of the Century?, 37 Tr. 76 (Sept. 2001).
  • M.H. Sam Jacobson, The ALWD Citation Manual: A Clear Improvement over the Bluebook, 3 J. App. Prac. & Process 139 (2001).
  • Melissa Weresh, The ALWD Citation Manual: A Coup de Grace (120 KB), 23 UALR L. Rev. 775 (2001).
  • Vickie Rainwater, Citation Form in Transition: The ALWD Citation Manual, 7 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 21 (2000).
  • Warren D. Rees, A New Legal Citation Manual: What Will It Mean to Law Librarians?, 5 AALL Spectrum 8 (Sept. 2000).
  • Frank Wu, The Litigator’s Tool Box: Goodbye to the Bluebook?, 11 Prac. Litigator 5 (Sept. 2000).
  • Pamela Lysaght & Grace Tonner, Bye-Bye Bluebook?, 79 Mich. B.J. 1058 (Aug. 2000).
  • Anthony Aarons, Feeling Blue (July 18, 2000) (can only be accessed on the website if the viewer has a subscription)
  • Thomas R. Haggard, Citing News! 12 S.C. Law. 12 (July/Aug. 2000).
  • Carol M. Bast & Susan Harrell, Has the Bluebook Met Its Match? The ALWD Citation Manual, 92 Law Libr. J. 337 (2000)
  • Maureen B. Collins, A Legal Writer’s Bookshelf, 88 Ill. B.J. 359 (June 2000).
  • Maureen Collins, “Bluebloods’ ‘Bluebook'” (July 26, 2000) (can only be accessed on the website if the viewer has a subscription)
  • K.K. DuVivier, The Scrivener: Modern Legal Writing: A New Bluebook, 29 Colo. Law. 51 (Nov. 2000)
  • K.K. DuVivier, Legal Citations for the Twenty-First Century, 29 Colo. Law. 45 (May 2000).
  • James T.R. Jones, Book Review, 73 Temp. L. Rev. 219 (2000)
  • Melissa H. Weresh, Book Review, 6 Leg. Writing 257 (2000).
  • Steven D. Jamar, The ALWD Citation Manual—A Professional Citation System for the Law, 8 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing 65 (West Group, Winter 2000)
  • Andrea Kaufman, Uncomplicating the Citation Process (online review from the Dec. 1999 issue of the Illinois Bar Journal).