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LRAW Research Spring 2025

Learning Objectives: Federal Statutes

Upon completing this Federal Statutes unit, you will be able to:

  • Explain the legislative process and stages of publication of a federal statute;
  • Use a federal statute's history line to identify the law that enacted it and when it was amended; 
  • Find federal bills, session laws, and statutes;
  • Describe how the U.S. Code is organized topically by title and section;
  • Find federal statutes by citation, by popular name, and by subject using an index;
  • Construct keyword searches to find federal statutes in online databases;
  • Use a table of contents to find related federal statutes and to evaluate the overall statutory scheme;
  • Find relevant procedural and court rules and provisions of the U.S. Constitution using annotated versions of the U.S. Code;
  • Find references to related statutes as well as cases, regulations and secondary sources, in annotated versions of the U.S. Code;
  • Describe the process of updating the official U.S. Code using hardbound annual supplements and free government websites;
  • Describe the process of updating federal statutes in unofficial annotated codes (U.S.C.A. & U.S.C.S.) using pocketparts and supplements;
  • Use citators to identify pending legislation, recent amendments, or the repeal of a statute, as well as to find relevant cases and secondary sources that have cited a federal statute;
  • Interpret the flags and signals used by the major citators to update federal statutes;
  • Cite federal statutes using the Bluebook; and
  • Analyze a federal statute and determine its relevancy to a particular legal issue in the context of a specific set of facts.