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Legal Research Resources for USD Students (Non-Law): Federal Statutes
This guide is intended for academic research in legal resources by University of South Dakota graduate and undergraduate students from colleges and schools other than the School of Law. The information in this guide is not intended as legal advice.
This site is organized alphabetically by Popular Name. It includes Public Law numbers with links to the GPO's FDsys texts of the Public Laws as originally passed by Congress, as well as links to where the laws are incorporated into the United States Code.
A piece of federal legislation may be referred to by its "popular name" i.e. "Fair Debt Collection Practices Act." To locate the United States Code citations for a particular Act, researchers utilize "Popular Name Tables." The two Web sites below list legislation by Popular Names and provide United States Code citations or Public Law Numbers. A "public law number," assigned to a federal Act soon after it is signed by the President, includes the Congressional Session and the order in which the Act was passed during the Session: Pub. L. No. 95-598. Public law numbers are often used to locate the "legislative history" of an Act.
This is an annotated code. Refer to the diagram on the Courts and Case Law tab. Under Legal, choose "Federal Statutes and Regulations" and Advanced Options. Click on Annotated U.S. Code (USCS) to browse by title and section. Use the box for a segment search e.g. HEADING(topic), keyword or Boolean search.
The United States Code is organized by subject areas, or "Titles." The citation "11 U.S.C. §101" means Section 101 within Title 11. For more information on how to read statutory citations, please refer to "Reading Legal Citations."
This is the most recent official version of the U.S. Code. Each code section includes an "in effect on" notation to determine its currency. The "Classification Tables" (link in left column) also provide cross-references between code sections and recently enacted laws.
Search by citation, table of contents, Table of Popular Names, and keyword. Each code section includes "Current Through" information, a "Notes," tab, and where applicable, an "Authorities" tab listing relevant Code of Federal Regulations citations.