Skip to Main Content

U.S. Law and Government Information: Overview

Getting Started with Government Documents

Secondary Sources

  • Law review articles, written by law scholars, judges, and legal professionals, are an important resource for analysis of the law. They often cite the leading cases and statutes for the topic and comment on legal issues involved. 
  • Books can be a great way of getting an overall understanding about an area of law.

Background Information

Need more help?

Profile Photo
Megan Heuer

Different kinds of law

  • Statutory law is written by legislative bodies, e.g., Congress and state legislatures.
  • Case law is that established by courts, e.g. common law, and interpretation of statutes and constitutions.
  • Regulations are laws written by agencies, e.g. Environmental Protection Agency.

Federal, state, and local governments create laws for differing and sometimes overlapping arenas.

Use secondary sources to discover what laws might relate to your topic. Laws change over time, so match secondary sources to your desired time frame.