National Survey of State Laws

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National Survey of State Laws

National Survey of State Laws (NSSL) is a print and online resource that provides an overall view of some of the most-asked about and controversial legal topics in the United States. This database is derived from Richard Leiter’s National Survey of State Laws print editions. Presented in chart format, NSSL allows users to make basic state-by-state comparisons of current state laws. The database is updated regularly as laws are passed or amended.

The current 8th edition, along with the 7th, 6th and 5th editions, is included in database format, which allows users to compare the same laws as they existed in 2005, 2008, 2015 and 2018, and to make more current comparisons with laws added or updated in the database since 2018. All print editions are included in HeinOnline’ s image-based, fully searchable, user-friendly platform.


  • Interest rates
  • Seat belt laws
  • Restrictive covenants in employment
  • Child support guidelines
  • Domestic violence
  • Bullying
  • Civil shoplifting
  • Food laws
  • Medical records

The topics featured in NSSL fall into eight general legal categories: Business and Consumer Laws; Criminal Laws; Education Laws; Employment Laws; Family Laws; General Civil Laws; Real Estate Laws; and Tax Laws. Within each category, topics are arranged alphabetically and presented in their own subsections. Each section begins with a general overview followed by a table that briefly summarizes each state’s statutes on particular aspects of the law. References to the statute or code section covering that law are also presented, enabling users who are interested in reading the original text to easily find it. The appendix, Statutory Compilations Used in This Book, provides the abbreviations and full names of each state code.

Features of the NSSL Database in HeinOnline

Users can use the main search bar or the Advanced Search link to search the database by Keywords, Topic, Code Section, State, or Edition. Click a search result to pull the portion of the chart that pertains to the result. Quickly compare laws by selecting the State Filter option. There is no limit to the number of states users can compare at one time.

To change the states you are viewing or to choose more, simply select the desired states and click Reapply State Filter.

Subject Compilations of State Law Linking

Cheryl Nyberg and Carol Boast Robertson’s Subject Compilations of State Laws has long been recognized as the most comprehensive source for identifying thousands of articles, books, government documents, loose-leaf services, court opinions, and Internet sites that compare state laws on hundreds of subjects. Linking is available to subscribers of HeinOnline’s Subject Compilations of State Laws database from the NSSL database. Research will have instantaneous access to the more than 22,000 bibliographic records, many with extensive annotations. Simply click Related Subject Compilations of State Laws located below the topic title and a list of related SCSL subjects appears. Each subject is a link to the SCSL entries for the subject.

For more information on how to browse and search within National Survey of State Laws, check out our dedicated LibGuide.

View National Survey of State Laws LibGuide

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