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Law and Politics: Louisiana Law Resources

State Online Resources

Louisiana State Legislature: Search Laws:

Louisiana Supreme Court:

Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct at the Louisiana Legal Ethics Blog:

Louisiana Protective Order Registry: (Includes forms)

Louisiana Law Help:  Free resources on Louisiana laws that may affect students, including    landlord-tenant law.

Louisiana Attorney Discipline Board:

Become a Louisiana Notary (Secretary of State):  Because Louisiana is a civilian law jurisdiction, notaries in Louisiana are permitted to independently produce some non-litigation documents whose creation is reserved to attorneys in other states. Notaries must pass a background check and a rigorous exam but need not graduate from law school. Learn more about qualifying as and studying for notarial practice here.

Louisiana Practice Aid Guide: The Essentials of Law Office Management:  Free manual with explanations and forms to aid in ethical practice management, tailored to Louisiana ethics rules. Useful for students, paralegals, law office managers, and attorneys.

A Few Library Books about the Law

Information from the Law Library of Louisiana

There are four main types of primary law, all of which can be found for free online (keep reading for updates on where to find the law online):

  1. The most primary of all state laws is our state constitution. It is the law from which all other law is derived. A constitution is law that is created by a constitutional convention and can be amended by the legislature, but must be approved directly by we the people. (Though our constitution can never be changed without the approval of the people, unlike some other states, Louisiana does not have a people-driven ballot initiative process to amend the constitution.)
  2. Our state legislature (the elected body of state representatives and state senators) creates bills, which, when passed, become our state statutes and codes. Once these bills are passed by both houses of the legislature and approved by the governor (either by signing the law or by simply not vetoing the bill), it becomes law. A patron may ask you about a “law” that has not yet passed both houses. These are not actually laws – they are still bills. (We covered legislative histories in a past tip – if you need a refresher, email us and we can resend it to you.. or there’s always Schoolhouse Rock!
  3. Our state administrative agencies also create and issue laws called regulations. These are often confused for statutes but they are not the same. Administrative agencies are not composed of elected representatives – they are appointed by the governor and are part of the executive branch. Though regulations are primary law, a statute or court decision can override them. Also, we call our state regulations the “administrative code” – though it uses the same word (“code”) as the legislature, it is not the same type of law.
  4. Our judicial branch also issues law, which is called case law. This is a decision (also called, an “opinion”) in a court case that comes from a judge, who applies a law to a controversy in the case before them. Often it only applies to the parties in that court proceeding, but sometimes it applies generally to the entire population.
  5. There are a few other types of laws such as decisions by administrative hearing officers, municipal ordinances, treaties, executive decrees and more.

   Information from the Law Library of Louisiana and LEAP (Legal Education and Assistance Project).