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Comparing State Laws and Constitutions

Getting Started

Legal researchers sometimes need to compare state statutory law on a topic. This is referred to as a "survey of state laws". This guide will help you locate previously compiled surveys. Whether you are doing limited, multi-jurisdiction comparisons or a full 50 state survey, using an existing survey will save you tremendous time.

50 State Surveys

Surveys of State Regulations

Topical Collections of State Surveys

Historical State Surveys

Historical Surveys of State Laws

Legal Directories

In the past, legal directories were a good resource for comparing state laws. Aimed at lawyers practicing in multiple jurisdictions, they provided brief summaries of state statutory law in a consistent topical outline. In the absence of a fully compiled survey, using these digests in directories is a more efficient starting point than using historical versions of statutory codes.

Comparing State Bills

For very current topics, researchers sometimes want to compare state bills.  It is possible to search state bills in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously in Lexis Advance and Westlaw, but the process is inefficient. Here are select sources comparing proposed state legislation.

Comparing State Constitutions

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