Legal Questions

Legal Questions

In working with legal questions it helps to know:

COMPILATIONS OF LAWS like the UNITED STATES STATUTES-AT-LARGE or the LAWS OF MINNESOTA are copies of the laws as passed, in the order they were passed. They are not arranged by subject.

The UNITED STATES CODE rearranges the UNITED STATES STATUTES-AT-LARGE into a subject order, and only include laws still in force. This is also true of MINNESOTA STATUTES which rearrange the LAWS OF MINNESOTA into a subject order and only include laws still in force.

TITLES, SECTIONS, CHAPTERS OR PARAGRAPHS are just different names for parts of a law. There may be thousands of laws that have a "Title 3" or "Section 243H." It is essential to get as complete a citation as possible from the patron before starting a search.

Librarians should not:

  1. Interpret laws for patrons.
  2. Tell patrons which laws apply to their situations.

Librarians should:

  1. Help patrons find copies of laws when they know the name or number of the law.
  2. Show people how to use the legal compilations and their indexes so they can find out which law they need.
  3. Give people articles written for the general public on legal matters.
  4. Refer patrons to agencies and organizations that can help them.

Go to Referring Legal Questions.

Back to Medical Dictionaries

Back to Table of Contents.

Back to MORE Manual Home Page.

This page was updated December 5, 2003.