Make the Bluebook More Exciting with Visuals

Notice of curfew sign at Lake George, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini
Notice of curfew sign at Lake George, N.Y. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Can we agree that learning how to cite in Bluebook format can be a bit of a tedious endeavor? As a 1L, I found the Bluebook to be an intimidating work despite its soft cover. It wasn’t until a helpful colleague showed me the all-important index that any of it really began to make sense.  I’ll concede that perhaps preparing practice citations was not something I began with gusto. Instructors can make learning about citation bit more engaging by using some helpful visuals.

Just taking a look at a sign about a curfew applicable to the younger crowd inspired all kinds of legal wonderment. Is this curfew village-wide, or is it just applicable to the park near the sign? How constitutional are blanket curfews, anyway? What might be the punishment for violating the curfew, and who is published—the minor child or the lackadaisical guardian?

I could riff all day on this topic. What’s the difference between a village and a town? What inspired the approval of this curfew, and has its passage thwarted the problem? How does one cite municipal ordinances? Which Bluebook rules apply? Are local codes sufficiently accessible, and are their legislative histories complete?

That’s what I think about when I see a sign like this. Also that the great view of Lake George is marred by too many signs. I’d like to see a bit more regulation of those.

—Lori Tripoli

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