Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Oct 15, 2016     Views: 23

Shapiro Library offers one legal database where you may conduct a state statute search on a specific topic: LexisNexis Academic. You may find this database by clicking on the A-Z Database List link from the Library Home page and clicking on the All Subjects drop down menu above the alphabet and selecting Law from the list. 

Below are instructions to do a state statute search within LexisNexis, which offers an annotated version of the statute which includes notes, history, amendments, secondary sources (cases that cite the statute) and cross references.

  1. Above the search box with the red border click on the “Search by Subject or Topic” dropdown menu.
  2. Click on State Statutes and Regulations.  This will bring you back to the search box with the red border. 
  3. Next, under the search box with the red border, click on Advanced Options (which allows you to limit by jurisdiction or date).  Before you are able to check the New Hampshire checkbox, you must check the sources you are interested in.  Options include Statutory code, Administrative Code, Constitution, or All.  In this case, select “All” if you are not sure and then New Hampshire.  At the bottom right of the page, click on the red Apply button.  This will bring you back to the search box with the red border.
  4. Now you may enter in your search term and click the Search button.  For example, “mental illness.”
  5. You may refine your results over on the left side of the screen by limiting to a certain source category, i.e. regulatory or statutory codes.  You may also sort your results by date (the default is relevance) or add additional search terms in the "Search within results" box on the right-hand side of the screen.
  6. Once you find the statute that you are interested in, please note that Lexis provides an option to see neighboring sections of the statute if you use the Document Browse feature in the top left corner.  Use the arrows to jump to the neighboring sections or click on the link right below it that says Show TOC to see the table of contents for that statute.  A window will open on the left that allows you to see all of the sections for that statute in order.

Another option you might want to consider is searching the State of New Hampshire Revised Statutes Online directly.  Please note that only the full text of the statute will be provided (not annotated). This may be the best option for those students that simply need to view the entire statute all in one place (LexisNexis breaks it up into sections) and do not require additional information about the statute. 

  1. Click the Search link located under the Full-Text Searching heading.
  2. In the Search Text: box you may type in “mental health” (quotes included) and click the Search button. 
  3. This will bring you to a results list of all of the statutes that mention this phrase.  Click on the hyperlink to view the actual statute in its entirety.

The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School provides a listing by jurisdiction if you need access to laws for another state.  Once you click on the state you are interested in, it will bring you to a page of links to access that state’s constitution, statutes, bills, and legislature directly.

If you still are not able to find the state statute you need after trying these steps, please contact the Reference Desk and we can help you brainstorm keywords or offer additional suggestions.

Here are some videos that may help:

Check out these Research Guides for more help finding legal information:

You may also want to consider these FAQS:

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