Administrative Law Research

Federal Administrative Law Research

Federal administrative law comes from the President, agencies of the executive branch (e.g., Federal Aviation Administration), and independent agencies (e.g., Securities and Exchange Commission). It includes executive orders and proclamations, agency rules or regulations, administrative decisions,and other agency documents. Many of these agency documents are increasingly available on often in PDF format.

Although regulatory research can be quite complex, good research techniques exist to make this research go smoothly.

There are a number of secondary sources that can provide extensive help and information to help you understand administrative law research. Secondary sources help you frame your questions before you begin researching "the law" and often provide references to the exact primary source that you may need.

A note about electronic sources: Sources marked "Internet" are freely available on the web. Due to license restrictions, the law library can only provide access to LexisNexis and Westlaw to current law school students, faculty, and staff. 

To view a larger version of the diagram, click on the image.

Ben's Guide Diagram

Source: GPO, United States Government Manual, 21 (2009-2010) available at