A A Email Print Share

Administrative Law - Pathfinder

August 2011 - by Suzanne Elliott and Lori Hagen


This pathfinder will be useful in finding information about administrative law, which oversees the activities of the government and is considered a branch of public law. Federal administrative law comes from agencies of the executive branch, as well as independent regulatory agencies. As a body of law, administrative law deals with the administrative units of government that makes decisions and covers a wide variety of materials ranging from in-house correspondence to lengthy opinions by administrative law judges.

The administrative rulemaking process from beginning until end is documented in the Federal Register, whose two main components are the Federal Register, the official publication of rules, proposed rules, Executive Orders and Presidential Documents, and the Code of Federal Regulations, the codification of the rules and regulations published in the Federal Register. In Pennsylvania, the two sources are the Pennsylvania Bulletin (weekly) and the Pennsylvania Code (updated monthly). The older federal website at http://www.gpoaccess.gov is being replaced by http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.

Primary Sources


Books (Sample PBI CLE publications)



Pages and Web Portals

  • A research guide to the Federal register and the Code of federal regulations a research guide to the Federal register and the Code of federal regulations http://www.llsdc.org/fed-reg-cfr/
  • A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies - http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/index.shtml
  • e-CFR - The e-CFR is an editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.
  • Federal Agency Directory (LSU Libraries) - This web site from Louisiana State University provides links to all regulatory agencies listed in the U.S. Government Manual.
  • Pennsylvania. Attorney General. Opinions
  • Regulations.gov - an online source for government regulations from nearly 300 federal agencies.
  • RegInfo.gov - an online source for the breakdown of upcoming actions by various agencies.
  • Regulation Tracker - a government online source that allows both the searching and updating of federal regulations from 2005 to the present.