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Administrative Law Research Guide: Databases & Websites

This guide is intended for students who are learning about administrative law and its sources, and to help scholars and practitioners locate materials in the library and online. Content additions will be gradual but steady. Please check back often!

In the left column, you will find links to four subscription legal databases: Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, and Fastcase. All have coverage of federal and state administrative law. Content varies, subscribers should compare; for example, Fastcase has very few agency decisions. Chronological coverage also varies among these databases, so if you are looking for older material, check the year ranges. Presentation and search syntax parameters also vary. For example, WL, Lexis, and Bloomberg have created databases for the Federal Register, but the search and display functions and years of coverage are different. Depth of content also varies for agency materials, including agency decisions and guidance documents. Lexis typically has more agency materials, depending on the search. Students should experiment with these platforms, and ask questions if help is needed. 

If you are looking for older materials and forward, and official PDFs, Hein Online is recommended. Coverage is described in the center column, below. Hein Online also is accessible from the library home page. 

GovInfo.gov (CFRs 1996-current and Federal Register from its beginning in 1936-current day) is the free federal government database that has federal primary law, including: regulations, some federal judicial decisions, legislative documents, and the U.S. Code.  In the right column below is a list of blogs, academic websites, and other free sources on administrative and regulatory topics. 

Lexis Advance

Lexis Advance is available by individual password access for law students and law faculty.

Westlaw

Westlaw is available for law students and law faculty by individual password.

Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law is available for use with password access by individual account holders.

Fastcase

Regulatory materials available on Fastcase are limited to students and faculty, or members of the legal community with their individual subscriptions. Currently, Fastcase has a searchable Code of Federal Regulations database and regulatory code databases for the fifty states. To locate sources and determine coverage, browse the outline menu.

The Federal Register link sends you to GovInfo.gov.  There are links to very few state administrative registers on Fastcase, and extremely slight coverage of federal or state administrative decisions. For now, at least, there are better options on the free government websites and in the other three subscription legal databases. 

HeinOnline

Hein Online has numerous databases that apply to regulatory research, including federal and state primary law, law review articles, legislative history, and many other materials that could be of use for an administrative law problem. The databases listed below are the most commonly relevant to regulatory research.  Hein is a rich resource that invites exploration and offers many ways to search and post-filter. Ideally, beginners will allow time to learn search strategies and take advantage of Hein Online tutorials. 

Checkpoint -Tax Research

Vital Law - Wolters Kluwer

Vital Law is a database that offers secondary materials and some primary material in legal disciplines that have administrative law applications.  Vital Law is available from the library homepage on computers in the reference area, and remotely for individuals with Marquette University credentials. Choose a practice area from the Vital Law menu.

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Practical Law is a password-access database available to the Marquette Law School community via individual Westlaw accounts. Some content focuses on federal and state regulatory law as it applies to particular practice areas.

Need More Information or Help?

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Regulatory & Related Blogs

FOIA-Related Research & Watchdog Sites

Regulatory News