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You & the Law

The resources provided here are not a substitute for professional legal advice. The library staff have no legal training and cannot conduct legal research for you. Library staff also cannot provide legal advice, interpretation, or assistance for you.

Federal Law

  • U. S. Code: The government website that includes national laws governing everything from the Congress, education, public lands, etc.
    Go to:
    • Search & browse the United States Code, a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is prepared by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives. Go to:
  • U. S. Code: A website by Cornell University; you may find it easier to search.
    Go to:
  • Code of Federal Regulations: Regulations made by Federal agencies ranging from food and drug regulations to firearms laws.
    Go to:
  • Federal Register: Includes Executive Orders, documents from the President, etc.
    For 1994 to the present, Go to:
    For 1936 - 1993, Go to:

Federal Courts

Court decisions that become a body of law in a jurisdiction are called case law. These decisions are also often referred to as "precedents" and are bound in volumes called "reporters." For print collections of reporters, one generally needs to visit a law library.

The Gaston County Public Library does not have a case law collection and most online case law is only available for a fee through a vendor.


Note that acceptable legal forms often change. You should always check with an attorney and the court in question to make sure you have the correct version.

For Power of Attorney forms, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk at the Main Library.

  • Search ( N.C. Judicial Forms.
  • Forms: PDFs of federal forms for taxes, small businesses, social security, etc.
    Go to:

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