Federal Statutory Research

This guide contains materials for locating federal legislative documents such as session laws, code sections, and other online resources.

How to find a statute

By name

All of the U.S. Code sources will contains a table for Popular Name Titles.  These titles will match the "short title" listed at the beginning of the slip, or session, law.   When using either WestLaw or Lexis, there will be a "Popular Name Table" option in the the code databases (U.S.C., U.S.C.A., & U.S.C.S.) or when searching the Statutes at Large, or Public Law databases.

By Citation

Finding a code section by statute is fairly simple.  A code citation will look something like this: 22 USC 1501.  This means title 22, section 1501.  The citations in the annotated code work in the same way.  Statutes at Large citations will look like: 104 Stat. 328 (1991).  This means volume 104, and page 328.

When pulling statutes, or code sections, from either Lexis or WestLaw simply enter the proper citation into the search field.

Subject Guide