For those of you who are not, or who have never been, law students — the BlueBook is a 1″ thick guide to citing legal sources in law review articles. Judges don’t give a shit if you use correct BlueBook citation format – they go with the system in the cartoon above. Clients don’t give a shit. Nobody who matters for 99% of the careers of 99% of the lawyers out there gives a shit.
Nevertheless, these law-student-invented rules are written down, every year, in a “new” edition. Worse than that, thousands of law students then take “Legal Research and Writing,” where they spend most of their effort making sure that the period is in the right place when they cite a case, thus learning nothing about actual writing.
We don’t need the BlueBook. It is a distraction from the true craft of legal writing. In my courses, I tell the students that I never check their BlueBook citations and I never will. If I can find the source from their footnote, then it is good enough for me.
It is the only book in existence that actually makes the world a shittier place. The BlueBook is the only book in the world that I believe should be banned, all existing copies burned, and it should never published again.