Completing Administrative Law Research

Updating a federal regulation digitally free-of-charge has never been easier.

  1. For example, you can consult the digital List of Parts Effected to learn whether a change has been made to a federal regulation since the annual edition of the Code of Federal Regulations was last published. As mentioned earlier, all CFR volumes are issued each year in sets on a staggered, quarterly basis: Titles 1– 6 are current through January 1, Titles 17 – 27 are current through April 1, Titles 29 – 41 are current through July 1, Titles 42 – 50 are current through October 1.
  2. You can also update the regulation by searching the .pdf List of Sections publication by using the Advance Search feature in Fdsys. Go the Fdsys webpage.
    • Click on ‘Browse Collection.’
    • Click on ‘List of CFR Sections Affected.’
    • Click on ‘Browse CFR Parts Affected from the Federal Register.’
    • Use the pull down menu adjacent to ‘Browse by Date.’ Chose Date Range and click ‘Go.’
    • You will have to fill in the date ranges you wish to search. This will be the date for the title you are attempting to update to today’s date and click ‘Go.’
    • At this point you will see a screen listing all the titles of the CFR with a + sign next to each title. Click on the plus sign until you see the part you are attempting to update. If it has been updated, you will see a link to the Federal Register.
  3. In addition, you can also search the digital Federal Register in FDsys, or consult the website for potential updates. The website is jointly administered by The Office of the Federal Register (FR) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).
  4. Finally, you can use the e-cfr, which is a non official version of the CFR, and which updates the CFR sections with the FR provisions on a daily basis.

Of course, Westlaw and Lexis in their classic and newly revamped platforms offer easier updating options for both federal and state administrative regulations, as long as they have been codified in the Code of Federal Regulation (C.F.R.) or its state counterparts.

Remember, NO proprietary database offers updating services for administrative regulations published chronologically in the Federal Register (F.R.), or its state counterparts. In those instances you need to perform a full text search in the F.R. library, covering the time frame from the date the rule you are interested in was passed or the date its last codified version was published — whichever date is more recent — to date, unless you want to follow the steps detailed above.

Bloomberg Law has no B-Cite for administrative law.

Finally, here is a brief Prezi presentation to review your adm law research skills.