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An aid to finding law at OSU Libraries and online, this Guide covers both case law, and statutory and regulatory law


Law has been defined as "All the official rules and codes that govern citizens’ actions, including the Constitution, statutory laws enacted by the Legislature, case laws established by court decisions, and administrative law as set forth by executive branch agencies." (, 9/3/08)

This Guide covers all three types of law: Case law on its own tab, and Statutory and Administrative law on the Bills, Laws, Rules tab.

Major Legal Reference Works

Online Legal Reference in LexisNexis Academic

LexisNexis Academic: US Legal Reference gives you the option of searching all of these legal references with one search, or, by choosing Advanced Options, you may pick only the individual source you want. Sources here include:

  • American Jurisprudence 2d
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary
  • Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations
  • Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession

Indexes & Finding Tools for Law

Much of the information contained in these references is included in the LexisNexis Academic database; however, if you need an official citation from a reporter, or further information, The Valley Library has the following books in our collection.

Legal Resources for Oregon Citizens

The State of Oregon Law Library is providing access to all Oregonians to the following two legal databases. Anyone who lives in Oregon can access these (no OSU affiliation necessary; see SOLL's website for details about how to access).

EBSCO’s Legal Information Reference Service: This database features materials from the legal publisher NOLO. NOLO books are legal reference books for non-lawyers which cover many common legal issues. The State of Oregon Law Library has put together a short guide to introduce this resource and provides login information.

Fastcase: Fastcase combines advanced search options with a wide range of law from the federal government, the state of Oregon, and other states in the federal 9th circuit. Fastcase is known for its ability to parse search results in a way that is similar to popular search engines, making it more intuitive than many other legal databases. It also features the Bad Law Bot, an automated service that attempts to identify when other courts have cited a case negatively. SOLL has put together a guide that describes this resource and provides login instructions.

Law Libraries

OSU does not have a law library, and even though there are legal materials in the OSU Valley Library your research may require you to access more in-depth and specialized legal resources than we have here (including access to a law librarian). Here are some nearby options:

Public Library of Law ( Developed by Fastcase Inc., this is the world's largest database of free law resources online. Covering both federal and state law, it contains Case Law, Statutes, Regulations, Court Rules, Constitutions, and legal forms.

Legal Aid Resources

While library staff are prohibited from giving legal advice, there are several services where people can go for help. Here are some of those services: