Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Create Your APA Style Citations

Visit this guide to find examples of APA style citations for your reference list and information about in-text citations.

Academic journal articles header

Legal resources

References for federal, state statutes and court decisions are different from other types of sources. The following examples are based on chapter 11 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, pp. 355-368, and examples from the APA Style Blog.

 

APA Style References versus Legal References

Legal citations use the same form across many disciplines outlined by the law field and standard legal citation style. Because of this many existing legal citations do not need editing to fit into APA format. 

General Information 

Statutes are laws written and enacted by the legislative branch of government. Most new laws are created through statutes (as opposed to being created by judges through case opinions). At the federal level, when statute is published, it will be assigned a Public Law Number to identify it. The Public Law Number (i.e. Pub.L. No. 112-25) is made up of two parts: the first number represents the number of the Congress that passed the law; the second number represents the chronological order in which the law was passed. In the example above, Pub.L. No. 112-25 is the 25th law passed by the 112th Congress. 

Common Legal Reference Abbreviations Table

Due to the possibility of some legal references containing large amounts of information, a series of abbreviations are utilized to help shorten citations. You will find some examples of commonly used legal abbreviations in the table bellow. 

Category

Abbreviation

Congress
House of Representatives
Senate

Cong.
H.R.
S.

Regulation
Resolution

Reg.
Res.

Section
Sections
Number
And following

§
§ §
No.
et seq.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Format

Name of Act or Court Case, Source. Section Number, Year(s). URL

For specific examples scroll down! And for more information about state statutes, see Section 11.5 on pages 355-368 of the APA Manual, 7th edition.

Appellate court case

In-text:

(M.S.D. of Martinsville v. Jackson, 2014)

Reference list:

M.S.D. of Martinsville v. Jackson, 9 N.E.3d 230 (Ind. App. 2014).  https://advance-lexis-com.proxy.bsu.edu/api/document?collection=cases&id=urn:contentItem:5C7H-76B1-F04G-501X-00000-00&context=1516831

Note: If you are citing a decision which you found in Nexis Uni, it is one which has been appealed.

 

Federal statute

In-text:

(No Child Left Behind Act, 2002)

Reference list:

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-110, § 101, 115 Stat. 1425 (2002). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-107publ110/pdf/PLAW-107publ110.pdf 

State statute

In-text:

(Bar to Recovery, 2020)

Reference List:

Bar To Recovery, Ind. Stat. § 34-51-2-6 (Current through all legislation of the 2020 Second Regular Session of the 121st General Assembly). https://advance-lexis-com.proxy.bsu.edu/api/document?collection=statutes-legislation&id=urn:contentItem:5D2H-KYW1-6FSR-S50S-00000-00&context=1516831

Law Review Article

In-text:

(Grada, 2005)

Reference list: 

Garda, R. A. (2005). The new idea: Shifting educational paradigms to achieve racial equality in special education. Alabama Law Review, 56, 1071. Retrieved from https://advance-lexis-com.proxy.bsu.edu/api/document?collection=analytical-materials&id=urn:contentItem:4HT6-BCY0-00CV-Y00G-00000-00&context=1516831