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Legal Information

Legal information is critical in research topics such as legal rights and responsibilities of professional personnel and students, public-private distinction, freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, academic freedom and tenure, and due process and equal protection guarantees.

Legal research material falls into four major categories:

  1. Court Cases

    You can find a known court case by its title or the citation. For example:

    "Brown v. Board of Education" is a case title.

    "347 U.S. 483" is the citation for Brown v. Board of Education.

    You can locate a specific court case using research databases like Westlaw Campus or LexisNexis Academic. For more information, please see Finding a Law Case From A Known Citation.

  2. Laws

    You can find a known federal law by their public law number or from their citation. You can apply the same approach to track a known state law. For example: "P.L. 94-142" is the public law number for The Education for the Handicapped Act (EHA).

    To locate laws, use research databases such as Westlaw Campus or LexisNexis Congressional. You can find Compilation of Federal Education Laws through the Web site for the Committee on Education and the Workforce. For more information, please see Case Reporters and Statutory Law Services

  3. Regulations

    You can use the Federal Register (FR), Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and List of Sections Affected (LSA) to locate new, proposed, and amended regulations concerning education.

  4. Discussions and Explanations of Court Cases, Laws, and Regulations

    Legal encyclopedias, books, and law reviews articles are very useful resources for providing overview, explanations, or comments on legal cases or policies. To find this type of information, you can use the following research databases: