Legal Research: Federal

Libraries with Federal Law Resources

Primary Sources

Statutes - The US Congress creates statutes when it passes laws. Federal law statutes address legal protections in the workplace, consumer protection, antitrust and securities regulation, bankruptcy, environmental law, copyright and immigration.

  • The United States Code, a codification by subject matter of the laws of the United States, is available online. Cornell University has created an easy-to-use interface for searching the US Code. For the Westlaw print edition with annotations, please visit the Texas State Law Library or the UT Tarlton Law Library.

Regulations - Federal administrative agencies enforce the laws that govern workplace safety and consumer protection; for regulating companies marketing drugs or issuing securities; and for collecting taxes.

Case Law - The third source for legal information is the court system which interprets the statutes and determines the scope of federal power. Courts create law when a judge issues an opinion. Most written opinions come from the appellate (appeals) court. Austin Public Library has no case reports from the federal court system except for Supreme Court cases. Visit the Texas State Law Library for federal court information, or try one of these case-locator websites:

Federal Law Websites