Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



A war is raging in the legal citation field. Arbitrary changes in the Bluebook from one edition to the next have incited a populist rebellion in the form of the Association of Legal Writing Directors' ALWD Citation Manual. This Article traces the causes of the conflict and assesses its likely outcomes. Professor Glashausser compares the two citation guides to eighteenth- century Great Britain and America: the Bluebook is the elite empire clinging to its position, and the Manual is the challenger hoping to ride a wave of populism to revolution. Overall, Professor Glashausser's Article sides with the Manual as the guide that best implements the ideals that unite the legal community-- indeed, the footnotes follow Manual style-but it also suggests further avenues for reform. Ultimately, the Article concludes that whatever guide survives will do so by following the will of the people, thereby giving us citation with representation.

After decades of submission, a populist uprising seeks to overthrow a once august but now effete institution. Arbitrary decisions against the will of the people have sparked a revolution. Declaring independence from the old regime, the revolutionaries hope to unify a national system while allowing for local variation. The grassroots movement preaches not only populism but also a certain rough equality, aiming to eliminate class differences and badges of nobility. While the publication of the ALWD Citation Manual in 2000 may not resonate with the impact of the Revolutionary War, the ideals at stake in the twenty-first-century legal citation war mirror those fought for by colonial America.