A race of wits: Bluebook Relays return for 22nd year

Barber Emerson Bluebook Relays
Friday, October 28, 2011 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Green Hall

Bluebook Relays

View photos from last year’s Relays

Each fall, first-year law students participate in the Barber Emerson Bluebook Relays. The competition, sponsored by a Lawrence law firm, tests legal research skills learned in the Lawyering program. Working in teams, students locate references in the library and write the citation in correct Bluebook format. The point system rewards speed, accuracy and citation skills. There is a cash prize for the winning team, but the big reward is the fun that comes from putting competition in perspective.

The History

In 1990, 1L Steve Passer jump-started the Passer Bluebook Relays, which would become one of the school’s most memorable traditions. Steve personally provided the prize money until graduating, when the dean took over as financial sponsor for the event. In the mid-1990s, the junior attorneys at Barber Emerson decided to provide prize money in honor of well-liked founding attorney Richard A. Barber. Barber Emerson remains the event’s sponsor today, and attorneys from the firm sit as judges for the event each year.

Bluebook Relays

The Rules

  1. NO cell phones.
  2. NO running.
  3. Do not remove books from their locations on the shelf.
  4. Only bring a pad of paper and a pen with you.
  5. The Blue Book “expert” must stay outside of the library.

The teams will consist of 10 members: nine runners and one bluebook “expert.” Each team has 45 minutes to complete the relay. A whistle will be blown to mark start and stop times. Each team receives nine questions covering nine citation examples learned in the Lawyering course. Each question is worth 10 points, and deductions are made for minor or major citing errors. There will be proctors monitoring runners throughout the library.

For more information, contact Jeff Montgomery, serials department manager and Bluebook Relays coordinator.

Blake Wilson, Head of Instructional and Research Services