By this point in the legal research process, you will have looked at various secondary sources that have indicated whether and to what extent federal statutes are at issue. If you already have some sense then of what are the relevant USC citations for your project, the next steps are double checking that they are indeed relevant by looking them up, checking their currency, and working from these citations to find any other relevant statutes you missed earlier.
In searching for federal statutes online, there are two good free options (LII and OLRC) and two standard licensed options (Lexis and West). After searching a free, online version you should turn to the annotated codes, Lexis' USCS and West's USCA, whether in print or online, for more thorough research.
Another reason to use ORLC is to double check the currency of what you have found on Lexis and Westlaw as it is put together by the office that codifies the USC and may be more up to date.
There are five primary ways to search the OLRC beta site:
Unfortunately, it does not include an index.
In some ways, the OLRC's main appeal is as a currency tool to double check what is on Lexis and Westlaw. Here are the main currency features:
Because the OLRC is the office that puts the USC together, it can be more current than Lexis' USCS or West's USCA. LII links to OLRC where possible. Unlike LII, it provides several tables beyond that for popular names, such as for executive orders and where sections of the Statutes at Large have been codified into the USC.
Like LII, one weakness of the OLRC is that it does not include an index for subject searching. And like LII, another major disadvantage is that it is unannotated, and thus does not include citations to related secondary authority or case law involving a statute. Moreover, it has no citator equivalent to Shepard's or KeyCite, and does not allow you to see whether the statute is still good law. For instance, a statute could be declared unconstitutional, but it remains in the text until Congress repeals or amends it. So, before relying on any statute found through the OLRC, it is important to use annotated versions of the code, such as the USCS or USCA, and Shepard's or KeyCite to check if the statute is still good law. While the OLRC does tweet about changes to the code, there is no RSS feed option for individual titles like LII offers.