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LGLA 1303 - Legal Research Term Project

Research Guide for LGLA 1303 Legal Research Term Project assignment

Library Print Collection Closed


The LSC-North Harris physical library book collection, including the Legal Reference Collection, is unavailable until further notice while repairs are being made to the Library building. Library Services are available in the Learning Center, ACAD 200.

Texas Statutory Law

PLEASE NOTE: The print series available in the Library is no longer being updated and is for Teaching Purposes Only. For the latest information, see Westlaw.

Vernon's Texas Statutes & Codes Annotated

The laws for Texas are published as statutes and codes.

The official statutes and codes for Texas are published in Vernon's Texas Statutes and Codes Annotated. Vernon's is available in full-text on Westlaw.

Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated

Print Edition Location:

Legal Reference

KFT 1555 .A295

To find your topic in the Texas Penal Codes: 

  1. Locate the Penal Code volumes of Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated.
  2. At the back of the last volume of each section of code, there is an index for that code. Use the index to look up your topic and find the relevant section number.
  3. Locate the section number(s) in the Penal Code volumes.
  4. Check the pocket part or paperback supplement for any updates to the bound volumes.

Finding Texas Statutes in Print

Vernon's Texas Statutes shelves

Searching Vernon's Texas Statutes & Codes Annotated in Print

The volumes are organized by the area of code and section numbers.

If you know the section code that you are looking for, you can go straight to it. 

If not, you will need to use the index.

Vernon's Texas Statutes Index Volumes

Step 1: Locate the Index Volumes

Search for your topic or keyword in the General Index volumes, shelved near the end of the series. Words appear in the Index alphabetically. For example, if you are looking for "arson," you would use the General Index A-C volume. 

Vernon's General Index page showing headings for Arson

Step 2: Locate your term in the Index

Within the index, use the words at the top corners of the page to find your term.

NOTE: Your term may not always appear in a corner, but it can fall alphabetically between the corner words.

Vernon's General Index with closeup of section on Arson

Step 3: Find the section for your topic

On the page, locate the bold heading. 

Under each bold heading, there will be subtopics for more specific information. Locate the listing that is closest to what you are looking for.

Write down or make a note of the section code listed. This is what you will use to find the section in the Statute books.

Shelf of Vernons volumes with a box around the volume including Penal Code, Section 28

Step 4: Locate the volume that includes your section number

Go back to the shelves and use the spines of the books to find the volume that includes that section. 

For example, PEN 28.01 refers to the Penal Code, Section 28.01. 

Vernons Penal Code book opened to page with Section 28.01

Step 5: Find the section in the volume

Using the section number, find the heading within the volume. 

Example: Penal Code, Section 28.01

Vernon's volume showing pocket for pocket part

Step 6: Check the Pocket Part for any Updates

Since the bound volumes are only as up to date as the date they were printed, it is critical to check for updates. Vernon's uses annual supplements to update its content. Most of the time, these appear as pocket parts at the back of the volume. When a pocket part becomes too big to fit in the pocket, it will come as a separate paperback supplement shelved right after the volume.

Turn to the back of the volume to check for a pocket part. Within the pocket part, check for your same section number. If nothing appears, that means there were no updates to that section since the bound book was published.

In our example, the volume was up to date at the time, so no pocket part exists.

Finding Legislation in Westlaw: Step by Step

Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated is available full-text in Westlaw.

(click on images to view larger)

To find Texas Statutes and Codes:

  1. On the Westlaw homepage, under "Browse" and "All Content," click on Statutes & Court Rules in the first column.

Westlaw Edge homepage screenshot with a red circle around "Statutes & Court Rules"

  1. Choose Texas from the State list.

Westlaw Edge screenshot of Statutes & Court Rules page with a red circle around "Texas"

  1. Select a Code from the section list for Texas Statutes & Court Rules.

Westlaw Edge Texas Statutes & Court Rules page screenshot with a circle around "Penal Code"

  1. The search box at the top should now be limited to the section that you chose. You can either continue browsing to the section for your topic, or search for your topic using the search box at the top of the page.

Westlaw Edge screenshot of search box limited to "Penal Code"

The Assignment

Item: Statutory Law


"Copy appropriate law from Texas Penal Code. In order to get full credit for this section, you MUST include the pocket part!"

Today's Hours


Only currently registered Lone Star paralegal students can access Westlaw. Current paralegal students will receive an email to their MyLoneStar student email from Thomson Reuters with details on how to activate their personal account. For problems with this, please contact the Paralegal department.