50-State Surveys

50-state surveys have long been a staple of summer work for associates, research assistants, and librarians.  This can seem like an overwhelming task, but before you start searching every state code,  check out compilations of 50-state surveys such as the ones listed below.  It’s far easier to update someone else’s survey than do one from scratch.

  • National Survey of State Laws is available in print at Williams Library
  • Subject Compilation of State Laws is a online listing of published 50-state surveys.  It’s arranged by subject. 
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures keeps track of online compilations of websites that track laws and regulations across the 50 states. 
  • Lexis has a database of 50-state surveys.  To find it, check under Legislation & Politics on the "Legal" tab.  The survey is an Excel spreadsheet and has links to the statutes and regulations on Lexis.
  • Westlaw also has a 50-state survey database with tables and links to the text of the statutes and regulations on Westlaw.  Check out this short video on how to use this Westlaw feature. To find the databases, type these codes into the "Search for a Database" box.   
    • Statutes: SURVEYS
    • Regs: REG-SURVEYS
If you can’t find a survey on your topic, check out the guide to doing a 50-state survey in  Subject Compilations of State Laws.
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