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Legal Research Guides

How & Where to Begin Your Research

  • Law: An Introduction
    Wisconsin and Federal guides to the types of law, how laws are made, and how government works.

Federal Law -- Overview

Administrative Law

Federal

  • Code of Federal Regulations / Federal Register
    • Federal Register:What It Is and How to Use It (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)
      Historical background of the Register & the Code of Federal Regulations. Explanation of the regulatory process. Understand how the Register and CFR are organized. Learn how public laws, the Register & the CFR are related.
    • Research Guide to the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations (Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C.)
      Historical development of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations. Explains the content and organization of the Register & CFR and indexing of both. Discusses electronic sources for each and how to locate older issues. Refers to the List of CFR Sections Affected and explains how to use the LSA.
    • Zimmerman's Research Guide: Code of Federal Regulations (Lexis.com)
      Brief instruction on updating a CFR section and locating older editions of the CFR, proposed regulations, and related case law. Provides links to Internet resources.

Statutory Law

Wisconsin

  • Legislative Drafting Records
  • Researching Legislative History in Wisconsin (WI Legislative Reference Bureau)
    Offers suggestions for researching Wisconsin constitutional and statutory law and for determining legislative intent. Resources discussed include drafting records, session laws, history notes, bills, Assembly and Senate journals, Bulletin of Proceedings, and committee records. Also outlines the steps for tracing legislative histories.

States

Federal

Administrative Law & Statutory Law

Updating the Law

  • Cases / Statutes / Regulations
  • Cases
    • American Law Reports (American Association of Law Libraries)
      Learn how to update this case-finding tool.
  • Statutes (American Association of Law Libraries)
    Learn how to update federal statutes. Instruction on updating United States Code, USCA & USCS. General information on updating state statutes.
  • Regulations (American Association of Law Libraries)
    Learn how to update federal regulations & state administrative codes.

International Law

Treaties

  • ASIL Guide...Treaties (American Society of International Law)
    Discusses the difficulties in locating full-text of treaties and in determining their status. Points to general full-text collections of treaties on the Internet including international and national government sources & non-governmental sources. Also discusses sources for determining status of a treaty and for possible reservations against the treaty.
  • Researching U.S. Treaties and Agreements (LLRX article, 2005)
    Report explains the distinction between treaty & executive agreements and outlines the process for each. Recommends print and electronic sources for locating full-text of treaties & agreements. Also recommends resources for determining the status of a treaty, for locating amendments, and for interpreting a treaty or agreement and determining intent.
  • Researching Non-U.S. Treaties (LLRX article, 2001)
    Guide to researching treaties to which the United States is not a signatory. Explains the distinction between multilateral and bilateral treaties and recommends tools for locating and updating them. Discusses methods of determining how treaties are implemented and interpreted. Provides links to government websites which publish indexes or full-text of treaties. Also links to subject-oriented treaty collections available on the Internet.
  • Treaties: Legal Guides (Law Library of Congress)
    Links to guides for researching treaties.

Government Information

Research Tools

  • Legal Research Tutorials (Georgetown Law Library)
    Tutorials cover: Statutory Research, Cases & Digests, Administrative Law, International Law, Legislative History, Internet Research, Lexis, Westlaw, and Secondary Sources.
  • Restatements of the Law (Harvard Law School Library)
    Learn about Restatements and how they are created. Includes how to find cases citing the Restatements, how to find law reviews about Restatements, how to trace the history & development of Restatement sections, and more.
  • Understand Legal Citations

Last Updated: December 30, 2013 | Up to Top
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