Q. How do I find legislation (laws) or court cases?

My instructor is requiring me to find legislation (laws) or court cases relevant to my research topic. How do I find this kind of legal information?


Start with background research!  It’s difficult to find laws or cases without one or more of these details:

  • A citation (e.g. 545 U.S. 1)
  • Party names (e.g. Gonzales v. Raich), or
  • The name of a law (e.g. Controlled Substances Act)
  • State and year in which law was passed
Background research can help identify some of these details. The best FCC Library databases for background research are:


  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context
  • CQ Researchers
  • Issues & Controversies
Use broad, subject keywords to find articles on your topic in these databases. Within those articles, look for named cases or laws, and then search for those cases or law names on the internet. See the attached document for additional search tips or come by and see a librarian for one-on-one help!


  • Last Updated Sep 07, 2017
  • Views 19
  • Answered By Rebecca Montgomery

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