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Georgetown Law Library

Administrative Law Research Guide

This guide outlines the federal administrative process and materials generated.


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Updating Regulations

Once you have found relevant regulations, it is critical to update your research since some regulations are revised quite frequently.

A. Online Services

Often the fastest and easiest way to update regulations is to use Lexis or Westlaw. The revision schedule for the text of the CFR on Lexis and Westlaw is not the same quarterly revision schedule as the printed CFR. If you are citing to a CFR section, you must use the date of the printed volumes.

On Westlaw, the preliminary title information at the top of the screen will indicate how current the text if the regulation is. If a section has been amended since that date (which could be a month or more ago), there will be a note at the top of the screen indicating there is an update to the section. To get to the full text of the amending section in the Federal Register, click on the KeyCite link.

On Lexis, the full text of the CFR sections are updated more frequently than on Westlaw; however, there still may be two or more weeks that you need to check for amendments. To update regulations on Lexis, click on the "Retrieve Regulatory Impact" link.

The quarterly publication schedule for the printed volumes is followed on the GPO Access site. To update regulations on the Web, you will need to search the Federal Register site from the date of the last revision of your title to the present.

Another option for updating on the Web is the e-CFR from the National Archives and Records Administration. On this site, the text of the CFR is updated regularly with information from the Federal Register. The text is much more current than what is on the official CFR site or in the books, and even more current than Lexis, Westlaw, and looseleaf services. As amendments become effective, the changes are integrated directly into the e-CFR database. For amendments that have not yet become effective, there are links in the e-CFR database to the relevant amendments.

B. Looseleaf Services

If the subject matter of your regulation is covered by a looseleaf service, you can get the current language from the looseleaf reporter. Most reporters are updated weekly, biweekly or monthly, and they usually will indicate whether there are any proposed changes or final changes that have not yet taken effect.

C. CFR List of Sections Affected (LSA)

Regulations can also be updated using printed sources. This can be a complicated process so most researchers use one of the online or looseleaf services instead. However, if you choose to update using print sources, the following steps will give you the current text of a regulation:

  • Find the text of the regulation in the CFR; note the revision date on the cover of the volume
  • Check the most recent pamphlet entitled LSA: List of CFR Sections Affected (KF70 .A34). References in theLSA are to Federal Register page numbers
    • Compare the date on your CFR volume to the inclusive dates listed on the title page of the LSA
    • If there is a time gap between the date on your CFR volume and the coverage of the latest LSA, check the annual cumulation(s) of the LSA for your title
  • Check the list of "CFR Parts Affected during [month]" in the Federal Register issue for the last day of each full month not covered by step 2
  • Check the cumulative list of "CFR Parts Affected" in the last issue of the Federal Register for the current month
  • Using the citations found in steps 2-4, if any, check the Federal Register issues cited to see the text of the changes

The LSA is also available on the Web.