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Research Guides

POL 215: Courts, Law & Politics: Laws & Regs

Federal Laws & Regulations

Tip:  Look for a citation to the primary source from a secondary source or from your interviews. Searching by citation is the most efficient searching method. In databases, look for an option to search by citation (or cite).

Laws of the United States. (P.L. or Stat.)

  • United States Statutes at Large. Clapp Docs q KF50 .U5
  • ProQuest Congressional – public laws and their legislative history (bills, hearings, Congressional Record statements, etc.)
  • FDSys – public and private laws from the 104th Congress (1995/96) to the present
  •  Public Laws from


Current laws arranged by subject (U.S.C.)
The U.S. Code is available via:

 government agency regulations (C.F.R.) - how the laws are implemented.
The Code of Federal Regulations is available via :

State Laws, Codes & Regulations


  • Using Nexis Uni & Westlaw will give you the text of the law or code and lead you to law review articles or court cases.
  • In Westlaw, if our subscription doesn't cover what you need you'll need to try a law library.  BC Law Library is the nearest.
  • To use Nexis Uni off-campus, you must log in through the campus VPN.
  • In Nexis Uni, if your search yields no results try your search in a different way. Don't despair!  Contact me :)

Primary Sources (the laws) 

  • Nexis Uni legal sources – state laws, codes, and regulations
  • Massachusetts General Laws 
  • Also try the state’s website. Use the format www.state.[state abbreviation].us  Look for a link to the legislature.
  • Massachusetts Session Laws – the laws as they were passed at the time (available back to 1997 online)