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Researching Statutes: How do you identify a relevant statute?

This guide serves as an introduction to statutory research. To access the linked databases on Westlaw and Lexis, you should sign on to Westlaw and Lexis before clicking on the links in this guide.


When a practitioner or law student is researching a statute, she may start researching with various types of information.  She may simply have a legal query, such as "what is the standard for the denial of asylum applications?" or she may have the "popular name" of a statute, such as Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. No matter what type of information a practitioner or scholar begins the research process with, the tools listed and described in the tabs below will lead him/her to relevant statutes.  Those tools include the table of contents, index, popular name indexes/tables, and keyword searching tips.