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50-State Surveys: Home

A guide to compiled surveys and other materials on state law and regulation in various fields.

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(610) 519-7020



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Government Documents - (610) 519-7896
Fax - (610) 519-7033

Introduction to 50 State Surveys

"50 State Surveys" generally comprise a compilation of the laws on a certain subject or subjects across as many jurisdictions as have relevant law on the topic.  As examples, a researcher may be asked to compile the various state laws regarding the regulation of the sale of securities; the various state statutes that comprise "castle doctrine" or "stand your ground" laws of permitted force used in self-defense; or comparative state approaches to enacting federal statutes and mandates such as medicaid benefits or "Megan's Law." 

A "50 State Survey" on a legal topic--a survey of the laws on a topic that has already been completed and published--spares a researcher from having to examine the statutes and regulations of all 50 states individually.  Such a compilation of laws on a topic will still require a researcher to examine the relevant statutes and to ensure that the listed legal provisions are still current.  The resources listed in this Research Guide provide a number of useful resources for finding previously compiled 50 State Surveys, and in many cases will also provide researchers with links to the full-text of legal provisions, access to citator analysis of the cited statutes and/or regulations, and access to legislative services and administrative law material to allow necessary updating of cited material.

Subject Guide

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Robert Hegadorn
Villanova University School of Law

299 North Spring Mill Road

Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085