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Statutory Research: Federal Statutes: Electronic

Guide to researching federal and state statutes in print and online.

Free Sources

Remember that free sources do not include annotations.

Cornell LII

FDsys

Findlaw

House of Representatives

WestlawNext

WestlawNext:

Main menu: Federal Material tab. or:

Start typing "United States Code Annotated" in the search bar"

Content and Strategies

Content on Westlaw and WestlawNext is identical to print, but with several key differences:

1. The Index and Popular Name Table are both separate databases (USCA-IDX, USCA-POP). Don't forget about these time-saving resources.

2. Pocket part and pamphlet updates are automatically integrated into the USCA. The information is more recent than print.

3. Sophisticated Boolean, proximity, and field searching is available. (see side bar)

4. Planning your research is even more important online. Information is much easier to obtain online but you can quickly become overwhelmed with statutes.

LexisNexis

The USCS is found in the "Find Statutes. . ."box on the Legal tab of LexisNexis. or:

Find a Source: "United States Code Service"

On Lexis Advance if you start typing "United States Code Service" the word wheel feature will automatically fill in the link to the USCS.

The same content and strategy points re: Westlaw also apply to LexisNexis.

Searching

Keyword searching is great but if you are overwhelmed with results try one or more of these advanced search techniques:

Field

Limit by citation, annotation, statute text etc.

Proximity

Search in same sentence (/s), paragraph (/p) and more.

Boolean

AND, AND NOT, OR

Full details for LexisNexis and Westlaw.