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PLA 3106: Legal Research & Writing

This guide is dedicated to the Legal Research and Writing course.


Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) . 1938- . Annual. (UWF Library Law Collection KF 70 A3)
Each year all the permanent regulations are codified (arranged by subject) and published in the Code of Federal Regulations.
Sample Citation: 24 C.F. R. 202.13.
Online Versions:
Congressional Universe

Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe
National Archives

Federal Register. Current Year. (UWF Library Law Collection KF 70 A2) 1936-last year (Microfilm 540)
The Federal Register is a daily publication which contains proposed, interim, and final rules and regulations. A monthly index cumulates quarterly and annually.
Sample Citation:  14 Fed. Reg. 16,190.
Online Versions:
Congressional Universe  1980-
GPO Access
Westlaw 1980-


Constitution of the United States of America. 1996. (UWF Library Law Collection KF 4527 A2 1996)
The text of the Constitution of the United States is provided in the first title of the United States Code (UWF Library Law Collection KF 62 1994 A2) and the United States Code Annotated (UWF Library Law Collection KF 62 1927 W45).
Online Versions:
Congressional Research Service
Constitution of the U.S.
Guide to the Constitution
National Archives and Records
Westlaw (the Constitution is listed on the Westlaw home page under Famous Documents)


United States Statutes at Large. 1789/1873- (UWF Library Law Collection KF 50 U5)
Once a law has been passed by Congress and signed by the President (or passed over his veto) it is disseminated to the public. The first printed form of the legislation is published in a pamphlet called a 'Slip Law.' Slip laws are eventually cumulated chronologically by session and published in volumes entitled United States Statutes at Large. Each volume of this official statutory text contains a subject and an individual index. Earlier years are on available on microfiche.
Sample citation: 94 Stat. 3124.
Online Versions:.
Public Laws

United States Code:  Containing the General and Permanent Laws of the United States. 2000. (UWF Library Law Collection KF 62 2000 A2)
The U.S. Code provides access to current laws by arranging them into 50 broad subject areas called titles. This work is published every six years and is updated annually with supplements. Sample citation: 1 U.S.C. Sec. 908.
The United States Code Annotated (UWF Library Law Collection KF 62 1927 W45) presents all the current laws in title number order but it also provides annotations of the court decisions which have interpreted each section of the code.
Sample citation: 42 U.S.C.A.  Sec. 158.
It is supplemented by U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News (UWF Library Law Collection KF 48 U5).
Online Versions:

Lexis Nexis Academic Universe.  1996-
United States Code. 1996-
U.S. House of Representatives. 1994-
United States Code (GPO). 1994-

Legislative Histories: CIS Legislative Histories. 1984-1997. UWF Library Law Collection Z1223 Z7 C66)
A chronological list of actions and documents that follow a bill's progress.
Online Versions: 
Congressional Universe
Westlaw  1948-

Congressional Record. 1789-1838 (MF 24A), 1873-1976 (MF 26), 1977-1988 (U.S. Doc. Microform X:), 1989-1997 (U.S. Doc. Microform X 1.1:) 1998-  (U.S. Doc. Microform X 1.1/A:)
A register of the proceedings and debates of Congress with daily updates.
Online Versions:
AllLaw. 1994-
Congressional Universe  1985-
Congressional Record Index. 1994-
Congressional Record -Main Page. 1994-
Thomas  1989-
Westlaw  1985-



United States Reports. 1754- . (UWF Library Law Collection KF 101 U5)
Decisions made by the Supreme Court are first published as 'Slip Opinions' (UWF Library Law Collection KF 101 U51).  These 'Slip Opinions' are then cumulated into chronologically arranged volumes entitled United States Reports. (Sample citation: 387 U.S. 467.) The Digest Of The U.S. Supreme Court Reports (Lawyers Edition), 1969-  (UWF Library Law Collection KF 101.1 D5), indexes and provides summaries of the Supreme Court cases.  Both federal and state cases are also summarized in the "Decennial Digest" series (UWF Library Law Collection KF 141....).
Online Versions:

. 1937-1975.
. 1893-.
Legal Information Institute 1990-.
Historic Supreme Court Decisions
LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe 1790-

Supreme Court of the United States - General information, slip opinions, calendars, rules
Westlaw 1945-
United States Law Week. 1987/88- (UWF Library Law Collection K 25 N568 )
A loose-leaf service which mails Supreme Court decisions on the day they are decided. Subject, case and docket number (for an upcoming case) indexes are provided. Electronic sources of Supreme Court calendars, schedules and biographies of justices are:
Online versions :
Legal Information Institute 1990-

Lower Federal Courts
This work provides coverage of the decisions for the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the U.S. District Courts. Print versions of these opinions are located in Federal Reporter (UWF Library Law Collection KF 105 F424) and Federal Supplement (UWF Library Law Collection KF 105 F423).
Online Versions:
AllLaw. 1994-
Emory University Federal Courts Finder
Internet Legal Resource Guide. 1993-
Legal Information Institute
Lexis Nexis Academic Universe  1789-

Federal Civil Judicial Procedure and Rules. Annual. (Reserve and UWF Library Law Collection KF 8816 A193) See also (U.S. Doc. Y 4. J 89/1-11).
Online Version

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (UWF Library Law Collection KF 9607 1980 and U.S. Doc. Y 4. J 89/1-12)
Online Version

Federal Rules of Evidence (Gov. Doc. Y 4. J 89/1-13)
Online Versions

Other Court Rules
Online Versions
Court Rules, Forms and Dockets
Index to Rules (LawSource)
Legal Information Institute -