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Using Legal Citation Checking and Citation Management Software

This guide aids Boston College Law faculty and students in formatting and cite-checking their documents using Bluebook citation.

Resources for Boston College Law Students

There are multiple resources for BC Law faculty and students to use in performing citation checks on their documents.  The software programs listed here will allow you to either check your citations as you type them or to upload a document and check whether the citations conform to Bluebook format.  

Please check your course guidelines or speak with your professor to ensure that you are allowed to use these products.  Some classes, such as Law Practice I and II, have course rules restricting the use of citation-formatting aids.

CARA - Casetext

CARA is a free tool from Casetext that will allow you to upload a memo or brief. CARA will check the citations in the document and recommend related cases NOT cited in your original document.

Lexis - Brief Check and Brief Link

Lexis offers two tools from the Lexis Advance interface. Enter Lexis Advance and then select either Brief Check or Brief Link from the pull-down menu accessed from the Lexis Advance Research tab in the upper black toolbar.

Lexis for Microsoft Office

Lexis offers registered users the option of downloading a Word add-in known as Lexis for Microsoft Office. Once you’ve downloaded Lexis for Microsoft Office, it will appear in your Word ribbon.  You can cite-check a document for conformance to Bluebook style and the software will flag any citations which do not correspond to a citation in the Lexis database.  In addition, you can run a Shepard’s citation check for all citations in your document in addition to the cite check process. After you’ve reviewed the Shepard’s flags, you can remove the flags from the document prior to submission.  

In addition, you can create a table of authorities for your document using Lexis for Microsoft Office. Download this add-on by navigating to  Enter your Lexis Advance username and password. From the next screen, select Windows or Mac versions.

  • Insert Shepard's Citations flags.
  • Check citation formatting, including Bluebook.
  • Create and insert a table of authorities. 
  • Check the status of all or selected citations. 
  • Create a Cited Decisions list.
  • Verify quotations - verify quotations within your document if the cited material is contained within a case, statute, regulation, law review, treatise, etc. on the Lexis Advance platform.

Documentation for Lexis for Microsoft Office is available here.

Westlaw - Drafting Assistant

Westlaw now offers practice support tools to students. Drafting Assistant allows you to upload a Word document and then choose from a menu of tools.

  • Insert KeyCite flags.
  • Check citation formatting, including Bluebook.
  • Designate your document as either a Legal Brief or a Law Review for formatting.
  • Insert a table of authorities. 
  • Check the status of citations. 
  • Create a Cited Decisions list.
  • Verify quotations - use QuoteRight feature within WestCheck.

Documentation for Drafting Assistant is available here