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Legal Studies

Resources for law and legal studies coursework and research. This guide does not explain the law or advise you of your legal rights. Contact an attorney for legal advice.

HeinOnline - Basic Search

HeinOnline provides access to approximately 30 databases of legal history and government documents. On the HeinOnline landing page. You will be able to search full text in all databases, search for a citation across all HeinOnline content, search for publications, or search by case law. You may also browse databases by category or name.

You may begin your search using the default full text search. In this example, I used the search term "homelessness." Each search result includes the name of the resource, original location of the resource, author, topics included in the resource, and a brief excerpt that features the search term. By clicking "turn to page," you directed to the exact page in the resource which includes your term.
You may also filter your search result by title of publication, type of material ("section type"), topic, location, person, and organization.
You will be able to download a PDF of materials, or view them online through HeinOnline's interface. From the interface, you can access a variety of tools, including citations, bookmarking, in-text searching, and "more like this" (shows related materials).

Venn Diagram Searching
Venn Diagram searching adds an interactive visual component to searches. In any advanced search, click "Venn Diagram" search (location of button may vary).
Each circle of the Venn Diagram represents the total amount of sources containing that term. The red portion represents the current search results. Selecting different areas of the Venn Diagram will change the search results.

Finding Laws By Popular Name

To find the full text of law as it was passed by Congress, use Statutes at Large. HeinOnline includes links to the laws by their popular name.

If your law is not included in HeinOnline's list of popular names, the best thing to do is Google (or other search) the name you have for the law. Most quality articles about the law will include either the public law number or the Statutes at Large citation.

You can then search the Statutes at Large for that law using that number.