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Administrative Law Research

This research guide provides resources for law students researching administrative law. It includes primary and secondary sources, federal sources, and Minnesota sources.

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is the annual codification of the final rules published in the Federal Register.  The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad subject areas.  Each title is subdivided into chapters (representing an executive agency responsible for promulgating the regulations).  Each chapter is divided into parts, which represent a specific topic.  Parts are subdivided into sections. 

Where to Find the CFR‚Äč


Finding Regulations

Federal regulations may be found through various methods and resources:

  • references found in secondary sources;
  • references found in annotated codes;
  • agency websites; and
  • indexes


Federal Register Index 

CFR Index and Finding Aids

USCS Index and Finding Aids to CFR - Law Library, third floor KF62.5 .L38 - and on LexisNexis Digital Library

CFR, Index, historical, proposed & adopted (Westlaw)

Useful Web Resources: - find proposed regulations by keyword/phrase or browse by agency

Justia: Regulation Tracker - search or browse by keyword/phrase and/or agency; coverage back to 2005

Federal Register

The Federal Register (F.R.) is the official daily publication of the executive branch. It includes agency notices, proposed and final regulations, and Presidential executive orders and proclamations.  Proposed and final regulations are accompanied by extensive explanation (preamble) and background about the purpose of the action and the comments received. 

Where to Find the FR

HeinOnline - Federal Register Library - 1936-present

LexisNexis - July 1980 - current year (updated daily)

Westlaw - July 1980 - current year (updated daily)

FDSys (GPO Federal Digital System) - 1994 - current - Current - provides comments on proposed and final regulations and access to proposed regulations by agency, topic, or keyword

Daily Updates

Public Inspection Desk - find the next day's F.R. contents arranged by agency

Finding Aids

Federal Register Table of Contents - arranged by agency

List of CFR Sections Affected - includes amendments, repeals and additions

Updating and Tracking Regulations

Updating Regulation Research:


Regulation Tracking (Westlaw)

LexisNexis: Shepard's

List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA) - HeinOnline and FDSys

Tracking/Predicting Regulations:

Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (aka Semiannual Regulatory Agenda): biennial update of planned rules for each agency, along with their justifications and expected timetables - published in the Federal Register (1983-2007) twice a year (usually in April and October).  Federal Register:  HeinOnline or FDSys

Unified Agenda: Regulatory Information Service (2007 - current) online access to proposed and final regulations, and submission and review of public comments provides breakdowns of pending agency actions, allowing users to view pending actions by rule stage or by agency

Justia: Regulation Tracker