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Law Library Introduction


How do you begin citing legal material?  This page presents the essential resources.

Citation Example: Find a Case in a Reporter

This photo shows a citation for the case.  The citation is U.S. v. Tropeano, 476 F 2d. 586 (1973)

How would you find this case in a book? Turn to page 586 in volume 476 of second series of the Federal Reporter, and voila!

Photo of the spine of volume 476 of the Federal Reporter.Photo of the page where the Tropeano case may be found.


The Bluebook is your official guide to legal citations.  A critical tool throughout Law School and beyond, the Bluebook dictates how you will cite legal material. You may check this book out from the circulation desk for two hours at a time.

                                                        Photo of the Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation

Additional Bluebook Resources

Ask a librarian for access to the following Bluebook guides:

CALI Lessons

CALI offers online tutorials in various areas of the law.  It's a great place to turn when you need an overview or clarification on a particular topic.  Tutorials are written by experts in the field.  Click the following links to find CALI lessons relevant to citation and legal research (login information required.  If you do not already have an account, ask a librarian):

Download the following eBook for free through CALI:

 PDF - Introduction to Legal Citation 2013

CALI also offers the following lessons (online tutorials):   

Legal Research 101: The Tools of the Trade

Legal Research Methodology


Open Access

Librarian, UMass Law Library

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Jessica Almeida

Law Library
333 Faunce Corner Road
Dartmouth, MA 02747
Subjects: Law