Skip to main content
BGSU University Libraries

Legal Resources: Reading Legal Citations

A Guide to Legal Research

Legal Citation Resources

Deciphering Citations

A legal citation is a reference to a specific legal resource such as a statute, legal case, or law journal article.  A citation typically includes the volume number, name of resource, and a page or section number.  See examples below.

Statutory law

Citation:  42 U.S.C. § 2000b

Translation:  Title (volume) 42 of the United States Code section 2000b.


Case law

Citation:   Kriescher v. Fox Hills Golf Resort  384 F. 3d 912

Translation:  Case name Kriescher v. Fox Hills Golf Resort, found in volume 384 of the Federal Reporter, 3rd series,        starting on page 912


Law Review Article

Citation:  12 Marq. Sports L. Rev. 347

Translation:   Volume 12 of the Marquette Sports Law Review, starting on page 347.

Common Legal Abbreviations: Case Reporters & Code

F., F.2d, F.3d
F.Supp., F.Supp.2d
N.E., N.E.2d
Ohio Rev. Code Ann.

Federal Reporter (1st, 2nd, 3rd series)
Federal Supplement (1st & 2nd series)
North Eastern Reporter (1st and 2nd series)
Ohio Revised Code Annotated
Supreme Court Reporter
United States Reports  (official reporter for US Supreme Ct.)
United States Code
United States Code Annotated

Common Legal Abbreviations for Law Journals





Ohio St. L.J.
Harv. L. Rev.
J. Fam. L.


Ohio State Law Journal
Harvard Law Review
Journal of Family Law

Subject Guide


JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.