How to add a Statute

Once you log on, go to the upper gray bar and click on "Add Content."

From there, select "Statute."


Once you select Statute, you will be taken to the page where you fill in fields for this Content.


1. For "Title" you will first put the federal or state abbreviation, followed by a general one or two word topic, and then the name of the law. If you are doing a whole chapter of laws, you will put the name of the chapter or article. All federal laws begin with “US.” Here are some examples:


AK - Domestic Violence - Article 7. Domestic violence 

PA - Hunting - § 2302. Interference with lawful taking of wildlife or other activities permitted by this title prohibited

US - Horse - Chapter 44. Protection of Horses.


For a non-US law, you will follow the same format by using the Country Code in the field. Here are some examples:


Canada - Alberta - Animal Protection Act


CL - Cruelty - Chile Protection of Animals Act (Spanish)


MT - Dog - Dogs Act


2. Popular Title. For this field, put the popular name of an act IF there is one. If not, leave it blank.


3. Primary citation is for the reporter citation or common citation. For example, 15 U.S.C.A. § 1821 – 1831 or Ga. Code Ann., § 27-3-170.


4. Country of origin will be United States (unless a non-US law).


5. Last checked is when you uploaded or checked the file (it defaults to current month and year).


6. Alternate citation is any other citation for that law (you can put the short WL cite here or even leave blank).


7. Put the original date adopted if available in Date Adopted pull-down. If there are multiple laws with multiple dates, leave it blank (go to top where there is no date). Note that a state like Michigan does not always list the enactment dates under the “Credits” field. You must go to the tab that says History. From there, go to Editor’s and Revisor’s Notes. There, the original dates of enactment and early amendments will be listed. Copy and paste these first into Notepad or other plain text and paste below the statute text.


8. Ignore Documents field UNLESS YOU ARE UPLOADING PDF VERSIONS OF LAWS. This would occur if you are uploading a file that is in a different language or format. In those instances, select the Browse button under Add a new file. Please be sure the original file is already named something that relates to the law. Once it is uploaded, you will see the file displayed under Documents. You must then select the Display box. Note: if you upload the wrong file you may remove it by selecting the Remove Button.


9. Summary: write a 3 sentence summary that describes the law(s). Please look at other similar laws on the website to get an idea of what to write.


10. Statute Text: this is where you paste the PLAIN TEXT version of the law(s). You need to keep the credits/history for the laws too.  Once you paste it, you MUST go back in and add spacing and indenting. First, add the paragraph spaces where needed. Then go back an use the Indent button on the Editor above where you pasted the text. It is the 8th button over from the left and has an arrow pointing to the right.


Advanced stuff for whole chapters of laws (when you are uploading a sections 1 through 10 and need to add a TOC and anchors):

If you have a whole chapter, you need to create a table of contents at the top that has each section. You will then create internal links to each law listed.

It will look like this:


Chapter 1. Application and Definitions

15-21-1-1 Application of chapter

15-21-1-2 Application of definitions

15-21-1-3 “Board” defined

15-21-1-4 “Commercial dog breeder”

15-21-1-5 “Commercial dog broker”

15-21-1-6 “Person”

15-21-1-7 “Veterinarian”


15-21-1-1 Application of chapter

Sec. 1. (a) This article does not apply to:

(1) an animal shelter;

(2) a humane society;

(3) an animal rescue operation;

(4) a hobby breeder;

(5) a person who breeds at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the person's dogs as sport dogs for hunting purposes; or

(6) a person who breeds at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the person's dogs as service dogs or as dogs for use by the police or the armed forces.

(b) As used in this section, “animal rescue operation” means a person or organization:

(1) that accepts within one (1) year:

(A) more than twelve (12) dogs; or

(B) more than nine (9) dogs and more than three (3) unweaned litters of puppies;

that are available for adoption for human companionship as pets or as companion animals in permanent adoptive homes and that are maintained in a private residential dwelling; or

(2) that uses a system of private residential dwellings as foster homes for the dogs.

The term does not include a person or organization that breeds dogs.

(c) As used in this section, “hobby breeder” means a person who maintains fewer than twenty (20) unaltered female dogs that are at least twelve (12) months of age.


As added by P.L.111-2009, SEC.4, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by P.L.1-2010, SEC.66, eff. March 12, 2010.


15-21-1-2 Application of definitions

Sec. 2. The definitions in sections 3 through 7 of this chapter apply throughout this article.


As added by P.L.111-2009, SEC.4, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.


You will use the anchor buttons to (13th button from left that looks like an anchor) on the actual statutes below. Name the laws in some sort of logical order (s1, s2, s3) that corresponds to the statutory section numbering.

Then, you will copy and paste the section headings onto the top of the Statute Text field with spaces between each law name. From there, highlight the statutory section with your mouse and click on the Link Button on the Editor (the 11th button from the left). This will bring up a Text Dialog Box. Here, you will enter a pound sign/hashtag and the anchor name.

For example #s1






You MUST have the pound sign to make it link to the page you are editing.


11. Jurisdiction is pretty self-explanatory – either Federal or the state name.


12. Full Statute Name. In Westlaw, copy the whole heading above the law AND the law name into Notepad or other plain text application. It will appear like this:

West's Alaska Statutes Annotated

Title 3. Agriculture, Animals, and Food (Refs & Annos) SuperBrowse Chapter 55. Care of Animals; Control of Dogs SuperBrowse Article 1. Dogs (Refs & Annos)

§ 03.55.030. Dogs that annoy or bite animals or birds

Now, you must remove all the extransous "(Refs & Annos)" and "Super Browse" designations. Then, put it all into one sentence with each part separated by periods. It will then look like this:

West's Alaska Statutes Annotated. Title 3. Agriculture, Animals, and Food. Chapter 55. Care of Animals; Control of Dogs. Article 1. Dogs. § 03.55.030. Dogs that annoy or bite animals or birds.

Paste that whole new sentence into the Full Statuate Name field.


13. Tags are search terms. Please enter 5-10 search terms. Do not make them general terms like “law” or “animal” or “case.” Look at the law and see what is logical when someone searches.


14. ONLY enter Species if the law deals with a particular species. For example, do not select Dog for general cruelty laws. If it is a chapter on ferrets, select ferret. If it is the Asian Elephant Protection Act, select Elephant. Otherwise, ignore this field.


15. Topics. Select the best topic or two. You can select more than one by doing a Control+Click.


16. Finally, click Save at the bottom of the page.


From here, you can see if you need to go back and correct anything by clicking Edit Draft. Once you are done, a site Editor will check over the document before publication.

That’s it!