Local Government Law Research
Updated by Rica Hudson
Some resources on this page are subscription databases that require a W&M ID and password for off-campus access. See Off-Campus Access to Library Resources for more information.
Lexis and Westlaw require individual IDs and passwords for both off-campus and on-campus access.
To search for books, journals, and audiovisual materials held by William & Mary libraries, use the online catalog.
- Subject Queries--
- local government
- municipal corporations
- Individual jurisdictions can be searched, e.g. local government and Virginia; municipal corporations and Virginia.
- Library of Congress Call Numbers for Local Government Law: KF 5300 - KF 5332. Browse the shelves under these call numbers to locate relevant treatises.
Other Libraries - Links to other libraries and online library catalogs.
- McQuillin, Eugene, The Law of Municipal Corporations, 3d ed. by Clark A. Nichols, et al., Chicago: Callaghan, 1949 - .
- Moore, Ralph J., Municipal Legal Forms with Commentary, Rochester, NY: Callaghan, 1976 -.
KF5305 .A3M6 1976
- Rosenberg, Ronald H., ed., Handbook for Local Government Attorneys, Richmond, VA: Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, 1992 -.
KFV2830 .H36 1992 (Reserve)
- Sands, C. Dallas and Michael E. Libonati, Local Government Law, Willmette, IL: Clark Boardman Callaghan, 1981 -.
- Stevenson, Sandra M., Antieau on Local Government Law, 2nd Ed., New York: Matthew Bender, 1997 -
- Matthews, Thomas A. and Byron S. Matthews, Municipal Ordinances; Text and Forms, 2d ed., St. Paul, MNE, West Group 1972 -.
- Ordinance Law Annotations: Electronic Resource, Deerfield, IL: Clark Boardman Callaghan, 1969 - .
- The Library of Congress call number for city ordinance services is KFX. The Library subscribes to a number of Virginia City and County Code compilations. Virginia ordinances are shelved on the first floor in the Virginia Collection with an additional copy of the Code of the City of Williamsburg and the Code of the County of James City on Reserve.
- Many city and county codes are available on the web. Two excellent web sites to access nationwide municipal code web sites are:
- County and City Data Book, 14th ed., Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1952 - .
Comprehensive coverage of statistical information on U.S. cities and counties.
- The Municipal Year Book, Washington D.C.: International City Managers' Association, 1934 - . Compilation of articles discussing issues of importance to local governments. Numerous statistical tables, lists of contact individuals and sources of local governmental information.
REF/JS344 .C5A24 (older copies in stacks)
- Municipal Yellow Book: Who's Who in the Leading City and County Government and Local Authorities, New York: Monitor Publishing Co., 1991 - . Names, addresses and phone numbers for the primary elected and appointed officials in 100 major United States cities and counties.
- Statistical Abstract of the United States, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census, 1991 - . Includes local government statistics.
REF/HA202 (older copies in stacks)
- VACO/VML Directory, Richmond, VA: Virginia Association of Counties & Virginia Municipal League, 1993 - . General information on Virginia localities. Contains names, addresses and telephone numbers of principal officers.
- Virginia Review Directory of State and Local Government Officials, Chester, VA: County Publications, Inc., 1990 - . Includes names, addresses and telephone numbers of state and local government officials. Information on Board/Council meeting dates and times if known as well as population, real estate tax rates.
REF/JK3930 .D57 (older copies in stacks)
- Virginia Statistical Abstract, Charlottesville, VA: Center for Public Service, University of Virginia, 1987 - . Comprehensive coverage of statistical information on topics related to the Commonwealth and its subdivisions.
REF/HA686 .V57 2000
- Cities and Towns
- Municipal Corporations
Indexes articles from nearly 900 legal journals, bar association publications, law reviews, and legal newspapers. Includes book reviews.
Options for accessing this index include:
- Online: 1980-Present. Updated daily.
- Westlaw (1980-present; contains links to full-text articles where available)
- Lexis (1977-present; updated weekly)
Index to Older Journal Articles (prior to 1980)
The Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP), located in Reference, indexes articles from legal journals, bar association publications, law reviews, book reviews, and legal newspapers.
Ref. ZZ66 .I534
For More Information
For more information about finding law review articles, including older ones, see Locating Legal and Non-Legal Journal Articles.
Full Text Articles (from journals, newsletters, and legal newspapers)
- Lexis-Nexis - Suggested Libraries/Files:
Lexis Combined Law Reviews
- Westlaw - Suggested Databases:
Westlaw Law Reviews, Texts & Bar Journals
- Fordham Urban Law Journal, New York: Fordham University School of Law. Library has volume 1, 1972 - to date.
- University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, Detroit: University of Detroit, (title varies). Library has volume 39, 1961 - to date.
- The Urban Lawyer: The National Quarterly on Local Government Law, Chicago, IL: American Bar Association Section of Urban, State and Local Government Law. Library has volume 1, 1969 - to date.
- Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, St. Louis, MO: Washington University School of Law. Library has volume 24, 1983 - to date. (Continues: Urban Law Annual; Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law).
Libraries include case law, proposed and enacted legislation, and regulations. Selected secondary sources include treatises, journal articles, and newsletters.
The Nexis database, containing valuable local government information is accessible through Lexis-Nexis.
Databases include case law, proposed and enacted legislation, and regulations. Selected secondary sources include treatises, journal articles, and newsletters.
Public Information, Records, and Filings: Various public records available; check the Westlaw Database Directory for specific records and database identifier.
Many local governments have Internet sites. Planning, development, budget, public records, meeting agendas and dates, etc. can be found for many localities. A wealth of new local governmental information is placed on the Internet weekly, so it’s important to search often for new Internet sites.Association web sites, many with additional local government links, are listed in the Association Section.
- Central Virginia’s Free-Net
Central Virginia's Community Online is a non-profit Web site dedicated to providing information about and to the Central Virginia community. Provides information about Central Virginia's Community by "hosting" web pages for non-profit community organizations, agencies, and clubs. The Government link provides access to online government information in Central Virginia.
- Commonwealth of Virginia’s Home Page
The Government icon links to Virginia cities, counties, and communities on the Internet, and includes legislative information, information technology resources, state government Internet addresses - plus the federal information exchange.
- The Institute of Government Information at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service
The University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service is a research and training organization focused on the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Center provides objective information, data, research, technical assistance, and practical training to state and local officials, community leaders, and members of the general public. The Cooper Center's 35-member staff includes experts in public management, demography, economics and public finance, political science, organizational development, workforce issues, and minority affairs.
- National City Government Resource Center
This website serves as a collection of city-related URL's from throughout the United States. For ease of reference, these internet sites have been broken down into the following categories: General City Links, Functional City Links, Regional City Links, and Other City-related Links for those sites that do not fit neatly into these categories. You may check-out most cities in the United States on this page by using either CityGuide and/or CityNet.
- State and Local Government on the Net
A Piper Resources guide to government sponsored Internet sites.
- The Virtual Library of Virginia
VIVA is a consortium of academic libraries offering a wealth of information on the Internet for students attending participating institutions.
- Wise County, Virginia Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
Example of the type of information of interest to attorneys which many local governments are beginning to place on the Web.
Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc.
Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia
700 East Franklin, Suite 700
Richmond, VA 23219
National Civic League
1640 Logan Street
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 571-4343 fax: (303) 571-4404
Virginia Chamber of Commerce
9 South Fifth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 644-1607 fax:(804) 783-6112
Virginia Institute of Government
University of Virginia 700 East Franklin Street, Suite 700
Richmond, Virginia 23219-2331
(804) 371-0202 fax:(804) 371-0234
Virginia Local Government Management Association (VLGMA)
% Virginia Municipal League
P.O. Box 12164
Richmond, VA 23241
Virginia Municipal League
13 East Franklin Street
P.O. Box 12164
Richmond, VA 23241
(804) 649-8471 fax: (804) 343-3758
Other associations may be found in the Encyclopedia of Associations.