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Law subject guide: Write & Cite

New Zealand Law Style Guide

The New Zealand Law Style Guide is a set of rules for citing legal literature. It has been adopted by our Law Faculty and the wider legal community. And now there is a second edition.

If you are looking for an NZLSG-compatible bibliographic management tool, we are currently supporting EndNote (see below); we have hopes for RefWorks - watch this space; and if you want to go it alone, there is also an NZLSG style for Zotero.

Find The New Zealand Law Style Guide in print: Law K100 NH3347. Or buy your own copy.

The print version has the added advantage of a quick reference guide on the inside covers, and the formatting is clearer. 

Find the New Zealand Law Style Guide online:

Quick Guide for NZLSG 3rd ed: Footnotes and bibliographies with thanks to AUT Law Librarians


Citations and abbreviations

Citations are short-hand references to cases or statutes (or books, or articles).

There are two key elements to a citation: style and abbreviation

For style, use:

For abbreviations, use:

Reference Management : Zotero - Juris-M

While this guide, written by John Prebble and Julia Caldwell from Victoria University of Wellington in 2013, is now superseded by Juris-M, it will provide trouble-shooting assistance, and includes good general advice about data entry in relation to NZLSG.


Zotero for Law Guide (from Melbourne Uni) is an excellent step by step guide. From setting up your Zotero Library, to creating outputs and everything in between.

Reference Management : EndNote for the New Zealand Law Style Guide

Endnote for Law is a very manual exercise: most legal databases do not have citation data that is compatible with Endnote. The benefit of using Endnote is mainly in managing your footnotes and bibliography at the end, but you have to put it a good amount of work at the start! It might take 10-20 hours of your time to become comfortable with the whole process. Do you have that time?

Still interested?

Get the software by filling in this form.

We recommend you attend an Endnote tutorial, or look at the ITS EndNote tutorial movies, or use these guides: Endnote 20 for PC     Endnote 20 for Mac.

You'll need a good background in EndNote before you get started with the NZLSG style.


Below, you will find the add-ons you need to make EndNote work for the New Zealand Law Style Guide: the Endnote style itself (that's the .enl file), plus a reftype table (that's the .xml document) and some documentation to help you put it all together.

It's a work in progress, but see how you get on!

Legal writing

Thesis writing

If you are writing a law-related thesis, you will need to know a lot about law-related things - like where and how to do research, how to use the New Zealand Law Style guide, maybe something about EndNote. You'll find most of that information right here, in the Law Subject Guide. And hopefully, you'll let us know how you are doing, and how we can help.

You will also need to know a lot about thesis-related things - from the big picture stuff down to the last-minute production details. You'll find most of that information in the generic Thesis Information libguide. Take some time to find out what's there, and keep using it throughout your thesis creation. And have a look at the Scholarly communication guide too.

We also recommend taking the ITS Word - Thesis Writing course.

Other reference management tools