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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. The database is derived from Richard Leiter’s National Survey of State Laws print editions. Presented in an interactive chart format, NSSL allows users to make basic state-by-state comparisons of current state laws. The database is updated regularly as new laws are passed or updated.

The current 9th edition, along with the 8th, 7th, 6th, and 5th editions are available in HeinOnline. Users can use the database to compare the same laws as they existed in 2005, 2008, 2015, 2019, and 2022, and to make more current comparisons with laws added or updated in the database since the publishing of the most recent print edition.

All About National Survey of State Laws (Video)

Navigating the National Survey of State Laws Database

All print editions are included in HeinOnline’s image-based, fully searchable, user-friendly platform. From the database homepage, users can browse laws by category or topic. 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.

Browse by Category or Topic

Select any category to view a list of topics affiliated with it, or browse a full list of available topics.

National Survey of State Laws browse by category and topic

Statute Information

Select the More Information icon next to any topic to see a general overview of the law.

National Survey of State Laws topics more information icon

Interactive Chart View

Select a topic to view an interactive chart for the specified law. For example, let’s open the topic of Adoption.

The top column includes important points for each law. Beneath, brief statements provide the core points for each state’s statute. References to state statutes and code sections are provided, helping researchers further their research.

National Survey of State Laws chart view of Adoption laws

State-by-State Comparison

From this chart, users can compare this law across specific states. For example, let’s compare Arizona and Arkansas. Check the boxes next to each state and select Show only checked states.

National Survey of State Laws Chart Comparison of States

This provides a new chart showing only the two selected states.

National Survey of State Laws State Comparison chart

View Previous Editions

Users can also view the law as it appeared in previous version of this title by selecting View Previous Editions.

National Survey of State Laws previous editions view

Subject Compilations of State Laws

View and link to related Subject Compilations of State Laws Subjects, an award-winning resource that identifies and describes fifty-state law surveys on hundreds of subjects in hundreds of sources.

Related Subject Compilations of State Laws topics within National Survey of State Laws

NOTE: The Subject Compilations of State Laws (SCSL) hyperlinks are only accessible to customers that also subscribe to the SCSL database.

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

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