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Legal Research for Undergraduates and Non-Law Students: Codes/Statutes

Common Abbreviations

USC United States Code
United States Code Annotated
USCS United States Code Service
Fla. Stat. Florida Statutes
P.L. Public Law
USSCAN United States Code, Congressional and Administrative News

Finding Codes/Statutes with LexisNexis Academic

  1. Click here to access LexisNexis Academic.
  2. Make sure you are on the Legal page, and click Federal & State Codes in the left frame.
  3. Type in your search terms.  If using their "Terms and Connectors" search, make sure to read their tips on how to use search connectors.
  4. Select your Sources in the box below the search terms.  You can search the entire United States Code (federal) or just certain subject areas within it, or codes from all 50 states, or you can select particular states.

About Federal Statutes

Federal statutes are enacted by Congress, either signed by the president or passed over a veto. They are organized by subject, indexed and published under a specific title number in a series of books called the United States Code.

The United States Code consists of 50 separately numbered titles, and each title covers a specific subject.  The Legal Information Center has two sets of the U.S. Code published in annotated form.

The U.S. Code is also available for free on the Internet at the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

About Florida Statutes

The Florida Statutes come in a multi-volume set and is republished annually. The print copy is located in Row 21 on the first floor of the Legal Information Center.

You can search for statutes doing a keyword or title search in the Index, or by browsing through each individual volume online at the Florida Legislature's website, Online Sunshine.

Don't Forget!

Federal statutes are frequently amended or repealed. To keep hardcover federal codes and statutes up-to-date, publishers use pocket parts.

Pocket parts are paper supplements that fit inside each hardcover volume, usually at the back. Always check the pocket part to see if a statute you're reading has been amended or repealed.