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Legal Research for UIUC Students (Non-Law)


Illinois Laws Quick Links

Finding an Illinois Law by Name

If you know the name of a law but not the citation, West's Smith-Hurd Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated has a popular name table in the last volume (R to Z) of the paper bound index. This resource is available at the Law Library in the Illinois Alcove. Call number KFI1230 1993 .A

Quick Citation Help

Finding Illinois Statutory Law

Illinois law is available online through the Illinois General Assembly's website:


Type of Law

Public Acts Laws published individually in the order they are passed by the Illinois General Assembly
Illinois Compiled Statutes All the laws of Illinois, reorganized and codified by subject


There are also databases available through the Library that provide searching within Iillinois statutory law:


Service Description
Lexis Academic Contains Public Acts as well as an annotated Compiled Statutes. The annotated Statutes contains notes for each section of law that provide information about the history of the statute and any courts that may have interpreted the law.
Hein Online Contains PDFs of the session laws (the Public Acts in the order they were passed) from 1809 to present. Click "Session Laws Library" on the main page.

Illinois Legislative History

Legislative history refers to the progress of a bill through the legislative process, and to the documents that are created during that progress. Many of these documents are available online through the Illinois General Assembly's webpage:


 Type of Law

Bills and Resolutions Bills and resolutions for the current General Assembly
Legislative Reports Legislative documents and reports for the current General Assembly.
Records and Documents from Previous General Assemblies Bills and other legislative documents for previous General Assemblies. The content available for previous General Assemblies varies; the earlier the GA, the less information that is available in a usable electronic format.


There are also several resourses available through the Law Library that provide Illinois legislative history materials:


Service Description
Illinois Legislative Synopsis and Digest The Legislative Synopsis and Digest is arranged by General Assembly and then by bill number; it provides the name(s) of the sponsor(s), a summary, dates of consideration in both chambers, references to proposed amendments, dates of passage from both chambers, date signed into law, Public Act number, and effective date. 2006 is available online, other years are available at the Law Library, in the Illinois Alcove.
Laws of Illinois This set contains the chronological (Public Act) arrangement of laws enacted by the Illinois General Assembly. It will include the original bill numbers and sometimes statements of purpose that do not appear in the official text of the law. Available in the Illinois Alcove at the Law Library.