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Urban Studies Planning Law: Introduction

Outline of Research

Most people think of "the law" as laws that are passed by the legislature, but in reality the law is a complex interplay of three types of law. These types of law typically follow the structure of the jurisdiction's government. Therefore, in the United States the types of law are:

  • Statutory Law: laws passed by a legislative body, such as the United States Congress or the Minnesota Legislature.
  • Administrative Law: decisions, rules, and regulations made by administrative agencies which specify how they will carry out legislation.
  • Case Law: court decisions, usually opinions written by appellate courts, which are binding law on the lower courts in the jurisdiction.

Chart created by the Georgia State University Law Library. Used with permission.

Legal Citations

Generally, legal citations follow this format:

  1. numerical designation of the major part of the set (volume or title number)
  2. abbreviation of the source
  3. secondary numerical designation (section or page number)


Citation Interpretation
29 CFR 100.101 Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 100.101
410 U.S. 113 Volume 410 of the United States Reports , page 113
28 USC 1332 Title 28 of the United States Code, section 1332

More Information on Legal Research

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