Illinois Legal Research Guide


There is no official version of the Illinois code. The unannotated version of the code is the Illinois Compiled Statutes. Illinois also has two unofficial, annotated statutory codes. All are updated regularly.



Session Laws

The official publication for Illinois session laws is Laws of the State of Illinois.




Illinois Reports, the official Illinois reporter, covers Illinois Supreme Court opinions since 1819, while Illinois Appellate Reports covers the Illinois Appellate Courts from 1877 to the present. The regional Northeastern Reporter covers the Supreme Court since 1886 and the Appellate Courts since 1936.


Additional copies of the official reporters are stored in the Law Library's Storage Area in the South Annex and may be paged at the Circulation Desk.



A digest is an indexed compilation of summaries of decisions, which allow researchers to find cases by the legal subjects they address. The Illinois Digest covers state cases, as well as federal cases involving Illinois.

Legal Encyclopedias

Legal encyclopedias provide a general discussion of numerous legal areas, with footnote citations to primary sources of law for each topic presented. There are two major legal encyclopedias that cover Illinois state law: Illinois Jurisprudence and Illinois Law and Practice. They are updated regularly with pocket parts and annual supplements. A third legal encyclopedia, Illinois Lawyer's Manual, ceased updating in 2001.

Administrative Code

Proposed executive agency regulations are first published in the Illinois Register, and once passed, are incorporated into the Illinois Administrative Code. The print copy of the Code is currently out of date, so use the electronic versions.


There are several collections of model legal forms for the state of Illinois, all of which are available in the Reading Room:

General Practice

The Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) publishes practice guides in a number of different areas of the law, such as Real Estate, Wills, and Trial Practice. Print copies of these publications are shelved by call number in the Reserve Room and the Stacks. The Library also provides online access to the IICLE "SmartBooks" version of these materials, which are searchable and have downloadable forms.

For print, search the Library catalog using keyword: "Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education."

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