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District of Columbia Legal Research

A short guide to researching the law of the District of Columbia using the resources of the Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library.

The Constitution & Statutory Law

The first D.C. constitution was adopted in 1776. In 1982, the Constitution of The State of New Columbia was ratified and in 1987 it was enacted into law. The current version can be found in the District of Columbia Official Code (KFD 1230 2001 .A22). However, because D.C. has not yet been granted statehood, this Constitution is not yet in effect.

Statutes are compiled in the District of Columbia Official Code (KFD 1230 2001 .A22). This multi-volume set includes a subject arrangement of all the laws currently in effect and provides case annotations, basic legislative history of the original statute and its amendments, and references to relevant law review articles. The annotated code is also available on Lexis and Westlaw. 

The DC government provides an unannotated version of Lexis's D.C. code on the Internet. It can be browsed through a table of contents or searched by keyword.