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Social Work Research Guide

Searching for Policy Resources

California Legislative Information

Search by keywords or bill number to find state legislation about your topic. You can search the current or past sessions. Included in this database are the following:

  • Status and history
  • Votes
  • Analysis (this analysis is used by legislators to make voting decisions, so it would be considered a primary source)
  • Bill text

Congress.gov. Congress.gov includes legislative information from the U.S. Congress. Search by keywords or bill number to find federal legislation about your topic. You can search the current or past sessions. When you find a bill, click on "Bill Summary & Status" for the following:

  • Text of Legislation
  • Major Congressional Actions - this is where you will find the voting records, and passage/failure
  • Related Bills
  • Cosponsors

The best source for finding court cases is the Westlaw database.

  1. You can search for a case by the name of the case from the main search screen.
  2. You can search by the citation from the main search screen (347 U.S. 475). 
  3. OR, you can browse cases. You can retrieve cases in several ways from the Browse section:

  • Click "Cases" from the main page to display the Cases page, which organizes cases under Federal Cases by Court, Federal Cases by Circuit, Cases by State, Cases by U.S. Territory, and Cases by Topic. 
  • From there, click the "Federal Materials" tab to retrieve U.S. Supreme Court cases or cases from federal courts in a specific circuit or state.
  • Or, click the State Materials tab to view a list of states. Click a state name to retrieve cases from state or federal courts in that stat.

Image of westlaw homepage with a red arrow directed at the "cases" link.