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Seton Hall Law

Basic Free Legal Research: Administrative Law

Federal Register

The Federal Register is the chronological publication of rules and regulations.  In addition to containing the final rules and regulations, it also contains proposed rule, notices, presidential proclamations, executive orders, reoganization plans, and administrative orders.   

Government Printing Office FDsys (link)

Federal Register 2.0 (link)

Get the Federal Register Table of Contents emailed to you daily from the office of the Federal Register to stay current (link)

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations is the topical publication of final rules and regulations. 

GPO FDsys (link)

  • Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules (link)

eCFR (link)

  • A regularly updated, unofficial compilation of CFR and FR amendments.  
  • Editorial enhancements such as latest updates, agency lists and incorporation by reference.  
  • Search features such as browse, simple search, and boolean search.

Legal Information Institute (Cornell University Law School

  • Includes information on 
    • Updates
    • Authorities
    • Rulemaking

Updating Regulations

Just like case and statutory law, you need to ensure that your rules and regulations are current.  eCFR (link) is a great unofficial resource that updates the CFR (updates usually 2-4 days after published in the Federal Register)

eCFR (link)

Agency Directories

Sometimes the best way to get administrative information is to contact the agency.  Find an agency website using the directories below.

LSU Federal Agency Directory (link) Federal Agency A-Z index (link)

Washington Information Directory by CQ Press (link) (identifies federal agencies by subject)

Administrative Decisions & Other Actions

The best free resource available to locate administrative decisions is the agency!  The Univ. of Virginia Library has aggregated the locations of administrative decisions from the various agencies.

Administrative Decisions organized by Agency (link


Unfortunately, not all administrative decisions can be found online.  If you are unable to locate an administrative decision through an agency website, submit a freedom of information act – or “FOIA” -- request using one of the resources below.  

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - iFOI Letter Generator (link)

A Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act (link)

Access Old & Defunct Agency Websites

CyberCemetary (link)

An archive of government websites that have ceased operation.  Website is maintained by The University of North Texas Libraries and the U.S. Government Printing Office.

WayBack Machine (link)

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine is a service that allows people to visit archived versions of Web sites.

Useful Links (link)

Forum to submit comments on proposed regulations, and to search and review original regulatory documents and comments submitted by others.  

‚Äč (link) is a United States Government website produced by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA).

Justia Regulations (link)

Search and Track the Federal Register

GovPulse (link)

Goal is to make government documents like the Federal Register more easily searchable, more accessible and easier to digest.  Provides you with a tool to search regulations topically or by agency.

Ask a Librarian!