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Law, Politics & Society: A Guide to Research

This guide describes the resources and services available to Doane University students doing research in courses for the LPS program

Getting Started

Where do you begin searching? Knowing what kind of information you are looking for helps:
  • a specific court decision
  • court decisions on a particular topic
  • a specific law or regulation
  • laws or regulations on a particular topic
  • general information on a legal topic
  • legal forms
  • legal advice


These guides may be useful to help you start your research:

Adapted from Basic Legal Research guide, Marshall University Libraries, 2019

Where does "the law" come from?

We generally think that "the law" is made by legislative action, but that is only one way we get our laws. It is really a combination of three types of law that, in general, follows the governmental structure of the jurisdiction. In the United States we have these three types of laws:

  • Statutory law passed by a legislative body, such as the United States Congress or a state legislature
  • Administrative law, which are regulations and rules made by administrative agencies on how they will carry out the legislative laws, e.g. the United States Environmental Agency or the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
  • Case law, that is, court decisions; usually opinions written by appellate courts, which are binding law on lower courts in the jurisdiction

Adapted from Basic Legal Research guide, Marshall University Libraries, 2019

Reference articles on political science topics