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Legal Research at Princeton

U.S. Law

Primary sources of U.S. law includes mainly case law, statutes, and regulations.  The table below provides a simplified outline of these primary sources, and the type of resource in which it is published in the federal system. (Equivalent systems exist on the state level).  To locate this material, please consult the databases listed on this guide's pages for each type of law.  However, even material accessed from a database is cited by citation to the print resources listed below: individual case law reporters, statutory codes, regulatory codes, etc.




 The Constitution
↓ ↓ ↓

Branch of Govt.





Type of Law Produced

Case Law




Chronological Publication of Law

Case Law Reporters

Session Laws (Stat. at Large)

 The Federal Register


Publication of Law By Subject


United States Code (USC)

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)


*While there is no official publication of case law by subject, there are many methods to locate case law by subject, for example: secondary sources, online indexing, and full text searching.