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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.

Popular Name Tables for Federal Acts

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.

United States Statutes at Large

Federal session laws are known as "United States Statutes at Large."

United States Code

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."

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