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WRTC 301: Language, Law, & Ethics

Legal Abbreviations and References

Legal briefs and legal literature commonly use abbreviations as a shorthand way of referring to sources.

A typical source abbreviation looks like this:

127 S. Ct. 336

127 is the volume number

S. Ct. (or Supreme Court Reporter) is the source

336 is the first page

A reference to a law looks just a little different:

2 USC 381

2 is the title

USC (or U.S. Code) is the source

381 is the section

Here are the abbreviations for some common legal resources:

ALR American Law Reports
AmJur2d American Jurisprudence 2nd ed.
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CJS Corpus Juris Secundum
F2d, F3d Federal Reporter 2nd Series, 3rd Series
FR Federal Register
FSupp Federal Supplement
LEd2d U.S. Supreme Court Reports. Lawyer's ed.
S CT Supreme Court Reporter
Stat U.S. Statutes at Large
US U.S. Reports
USC U.S. Code
USCS U.S. Code Service
Va Virginia Reports
Va Cir Va. Circuit Court Opinions

Legal Citation