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Legal Research: Free Resources: Federal, Legislative & Regulatory

This guide identifies free and low-cost resources that will help you with your legal research needs for Federal, state, foreign, and multidisciplinary materials.

Legislative and Regulatory Branches

  • Congress.gov: A Federal legislative information that is freely available to the public. Includes Bills, congressional activity, Congressional Record, schedules/calendars, committee information, U.S. treaty information, and other government resources.
  • Cornell's Legal Information Institute provides access to federal and state statutes and regulations. This resource is particularly useful for the "how current is this" link which provides information on modifications to the U.S. Code; the is CFR also available here.
  • e-CFR (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations): The cCFR is a daily updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the Office of the Federal Register and the Government Printing Office.
  • Federal Digital System (FDsys): full text of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the Federal Register, and the List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA).
  • FederalRegister.gov provides online access to the daily journal of the United States government.
  • govtrack.us provide information on recent legislation.
  • Justia also provides access to state and federal codes.
  • LLSDC Legislative Source Book: A compilation of research guides for legislative document research by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C.
  • Regulations.gov includes comments as well as newer federal regulations, proposed rules and agency notices.
  • Public Library of Law has the statutory and regulatory codes for the federal government and all fifty states.  A list of agency databases by state here.
  • U.S. Code (Office of Law Revision Counsel) The complete code and its tables. Also contains information about currency, a detailed guide to the code, and a classification guide.
  • U.S. Senate Statistics and Lists: A page linking Senatorial statistics and lists, including information about Committees, Elections, Legislation & Procedure, Nominations & Treaties, Senators, and Sessions of Congress, among others.