Know before you go:
1. There are three kinds of law:
- Case law or judicial law which consists of court cases/decisions/opinions
- Statutory or legislative law which consists of statutes/public laws/acts
- Administrative law which consists of regulations and rulings.
2. Federal resources are much easier to find than state ones.
3. Know as much as you can before searching:
- Are you looking for a case, a statute, or a regulation?
- Is it federal or state? If state, which one?
- If it's a case, what are the names of the parties? What was the date? What was the legal issue?
- If it's a statute, does it have a popular name like the ADA or NET Act?
- What is the citation? A citation is the most useful information you can have because it's unique. To find citations of cases (e.g. 5 US 137), statutes (e.g. PL 101-336), or regulations (e.g. 26 CFR 1.10), try searching an encyclopedia, book, or journal article.