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Statutory Research: Home

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

Useful Research Books

In addition to talking with a librarian you may also find these books on legal research helpful. To find additional books on legal research search the catalog.

Introduction

Statutes are one of the main sources of law at both the state and the federal level. The University of New Hampshire School of Law Library contains numerous statutory resources in both print and electronic format.

Basics

Codes

Both federal and state laws are published in codes. A code organizes law by placing similar topics in the same title. For example Title 21 of the United States Code contains laws on food and drugs while Title 26 contains tax laws. Codes are available in annotated format as well. These annotations contain references to cases that help interpret the law and secondary sources that provide more information. Codes are available in electronic and print format.

Session Laws

Session law are published in chronological order. After it is published in this format it is then inserted into the appropriate title in the Code.  For example a session law may be divided into several different code sections based on topic. Occassionally there will be a difference in wording between the session law and the code. In that case the session law governs.

Legislative History

Varying amounts of legislative history is available for federal and state laws.

Guide Author

Sue Zago's picture
Sue Zago
Contact:
UNH Law Library
2 White Street
Concord, NH 03301
603-513-5129