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Find Policies and Legal Research: Finding Statutes

Introduction to statutes

Statutes are laws that have been voted upon and passed by legislative bodies. There are federal, state, and municipal statutes.

Locate statutes in Nexis Uni

  1. On the Library's homepage, click the Databases A-Z button:
  2. Navigate to Nexis Uni by clicking the letter and then clicking Nexis Uni.
  3. On the Nexis Uni homepage, enter your search terms into the search box (e.g. "public spending").



    Note: The quotation marks tell the database that you want that exact phrase and not the individual words.

  4. Click on the drop-down All Nexis Uni menu to the left of the search box; in the Narrow by box that opens, select Statutes and Legislation in the Content Collection tab.



  5. Click the magnifying icon to Search.
  6. On the results page, you can further narrow your results using the limiters on the left-hand side of the screen. The additional limiters include Category, Jurisdiction, Sources, Practice Areas & Topics, and Keyword.


     
  7. To access a document, click on the hyperlinked title. For very large documents, it is often helpful to click the View Table of Contents link at the bottom of the entry.

Locate federal statutes in GovInfo

  1. From the Library homepage, click on Databases A-Z button.
  2. Click on the letter and then click on GovInfo (formerly FDsys)
  3. On the GovInfo homepage, select the Advanced tab located above the main search box.


     
  4. In the Refine by Collection column, scroll down and select United States Code.

    Note: The United States Code only contains those statutes that have been codified; you can access other statutes by selecting Public & Private Laws, Statute Compilations, and/or Statutes at Large.


     
  5. In the Search In column, enter your keywords (e.g. "elder abuse") into the search box. To add more search boxes, click Additional Criteria link below the search box.


     
  6. Click Search.
  7. On the results page, refine your search further using the tools along the left-hand side of the screen. You can limit by Collection, Date Published, Government Author, U.S. Code Contents, etc. 
  8. To access a document, either click on the title, or the PDF or Text buttons at the bottom of the entry.