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This lesson will introduce you to how codes are created, how they're organized, how they're published, and what it all means for your legal research. It is intended for first-year law and graduate students, or anyone who needs a refresher on the basics of this topic.

This lesson assumes that you are familiar with how statutes are passed and how they're first published, either from your own knowledge or from the CALI Lesson "Introduction to State and Federal Statutes."

For one of the questions in this lesson, you should have your Bluebook or ALWD Citation Manual handy.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the differences between a session law and a code.
  2. Distinguish between official and unofficial codes.
  3. Recognize how a code is organized.
  4. Assess whether to consult a law in session law or codified form.
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