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Difference between ALWD and Bluebook

Difference between ALWD and Bluebook

When it comes to legal citation, there are two main standards: the ALWD Citation Manual and the Bluebook. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is better for you? Here’s a breakdown of the difference between ALWD and Bluebook so you can make the best decision for your needs.

What is ALWD?

ALWD stands for the Association of Legal Writing Directors. ALWD is a professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in legal writing. ALWD provides resources and support for legal writing directors, faculty, and students. ALWD also sponsors research and publishes scholarships on legal writing.

ALWD membership includes legal writing directors, faculty, and students from around the world. ALWD members have access to online resources, such as the ALWD Online Library and the ALWD Job Bank. ALWD also offers discounts on publications and events. For more information about ALWD, visit www.alwd.org.

What is Bluebook?

Bluebook is a style guide for legal citation in the United States. The Bluebook is published by the Harvard Law Review Association, and it is currently in its 20th edition. The Bluebook prescribes the rules of a legal citation for documents filed in federal and state courts, as well as for law review articles. Bluebook citation is used by most law schools in the United States, and it is also used by many practitioners. While Bluebook citation can be daunting for new users, there are many resources available to help them learn the system. With a little practice, Bluebook citation can become second nature.

Difference between ALWD and Bluebook

ALWD (The Association of Legal Writing Directors) and Bluebook (The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation) are both style guides for legal writing. ALWD is geared more towards law school students, while Bluebook is geared towards attorneys and law professors. ALWD is more flexible and concise than Bluebook, and it covers a wider range of topics. ALWD also includes guidance on citation form, grammar, and punctuation. Bluebook, on the other hand, is more comprehensive and detailed, but it can be quite daunting for law students. It is important to consult with your professor to see which style guide they prefer you use in your legal writing assignments.


The difference between the two guides is apparent in both their content and presentation. ALWD is geared more towards legal professionals, with a focus on case law and statutory analysis. Bluebook, while also including citations for case law and statutes, is written in a more general style that is easier for the average person to understand. If you are looking for guidance on how to properly format legal citations, then either guide will be helpful. However, if you need help understanding the underlying concepts of legal citation style, then Bluebook is the better choice.

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