Law

Online and print resources for the study of law.

Statutory Law Sources

BILLS AND LEGISLATIVE HISTORIES: The introduction of a bill in Congress is the first step in the legislative process.  Comprehensive legislative histories provide a listing of all the hearings, reports, and debate that occurs from the time a bill was introduced until it becomes a public law.  To track a bill or read a full legislative history please see:

  1. ProQuest Congressional
    Most comprehensive collection of all publications that make up the legislative process.  Take advantage of the advanced searching capabilities to look specifically for bills and related hearings, CRS Reports, legislative histories and the Serial Set.  All sources are searchable back to their inception.

     
  2. ProQuest Legislative Insight
    Is a Federal legislative history service that makes available thoroughly researched compilations of digital full text publications created by Congress during the process leading up to the enactment of U.S. Public Laws. The following document types may be included in a legislative history:  bills, reports, documents, hearings CRS reports, committee prints, Congressional Record sections), Presidential Signing Statements, and Statutes.  Coverage includes the 1st Congress in 1789 – the 116th Congress, 2019.
     
  3. Congress.Gov
    A legislative tracking tool from the Library of Congress with selective access to legislative materials.  It is particularly excellent for bill tracking in the current Congress.  Content is accessible back to the 93rd Congress (1973-1974).


PUBLIC LAWS, STATUTES AT LARGE AND THE U.S. CODE: When a law is first passed, it is printed individually in slip law format.  At the end of each congress, the slip laws are bound together in chronological order and published in the U.S. Statutes at Large.  Every six years public laws are incorporated into the United States Code, which is a codification of all general and permanent laws of the United States.  The U.S. Code is arranged by topic, and shows the present status of laws (including amendments.

  1. Westlaw
    Under Statues and Regulations, you can either select the United State Code Annotated and use the search box(es) to search by keyword.  Or you can opt to browse through the Table of Contents.  LexisNexis offers a little more functionality in searching in that you can searching within specific topical sections of the code. 
     
  2. Hein Online
    Also includes an extensive collection of state government sessional laws.
     
  3. Nexis Uni
     
  4.  National Survey of State Laws 
    This database version of Rich Leiter's National Survey of State Laws provides an overall view of some of the most sought-after and controversial legal topics in the United States. Users are able to make basic state-by-state comparisons of current state laws.