50-State Surveys of State Statutes and Regulations
For a comparative analysis of state government policy, nothing beats a 50 State Survey of state statutes and regulations. Unfortunately, compiling such a survey can be a time-consuming endeavor requiring hours of legal database searching and content assessment. From one state to the next, statutes and regulations are rarely consistent in the terminology used or subject organization.
As an alternative, finding a precompiled 50 state survey on a needed topic can be a researcher’s godsend. Below are possible sources for precompiled 50 state surveys. Available topics and how recent the survey was compiled will vary by source.
2. Hein Online
A library subscription database https://databases.library.jhu.edu/databases/database/JHU04968 Once in Hein Online look for the sub-databases titled
- National Survey of State Laws
- Subject Compilations of State Laws
3. Nexis Uni
A library subscription database https://databases.library.jhu.edu/databases/proxy/JHU04598
Once in Nexis Uni, start typing in the main search box “50 State Surveys”. As the window expands, click on the “Table of Contents” icon and a subject list of all the 50 State Surveys available in Nexis Uni will appear. SEE screen shot below.
4. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCLS)
See NCLS Research and Data category https://www.ncsl.org/research.aspx
Note: Other professional associations and organizations may provide similar 50 state analysis for their areas of interest. Example, National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) https://www.nashp.org/
5. FindLaw.com and Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute (LII) are free sources for finding legal content. They offer an easy way to search state statutes by topic. This option is not as convenient as a compiled 50 state survey but it’s a no fee place to start compiling your own.
(LII) https://www.law.cornell.edu/ FindLaw https://www.findlaw.com/
A library subscription database. https://databases.library.jhu.edu/databases/database/JHU04713
Once in Westlaw, searching “Secondary Sources” may lead one to law review articles where an author writes about his/her findings upon completion of a 50 state survey.
Note: Westlaw makes available to its commercial customers 50 State Survey on a variety of topics. Unfortunately, this added content is NOT included in their academic library version of Westlaw nor is available for us purchase for an additional fee.