Primary legal sources include:
To determine which type of primary sources you need to locate, you will want to identify the territorial jurisdiction. Then you will want to determine which branches of government are relevant. Once you've done that, check out the page listing different ways to locate primary law.
When people refer to "jurisdiction in the legal context, they are usually referring to either subject-matter jurisdiction or territorial jurisdiction. For a nice, concise definition of both, check out:
Before embarking on your legal research, you will want to identify which territory you are concerned with. Each spot on the US map is governed by local law, state law, and federal law. For some information on federal versus state versus local authority, check out the following:
If you are concerned with federal law, you may need to determine which federal circuit concerns you. The easiest way to do so is to examine a federal courts map.
Once you establish which jurisdiction (or jurisdictions) matter, you will then want to identify which branch (or branches) of government you care about. To better understand the branches and their roles, check out USA.gov: Branches of Government.
States follow a similar divide as the federal government. For example, check out the pages on the judicial, executive, and legislative branches provided by the Tennessee Secretary of State: https://sos.tn.gov/civics-101-know-your-government.
Each branch produces different types of documents related to their ultimate purpose. Those documents that establish the law are commonly known as "primary sources."
For a list of different ways to find federal and Tennessee primary sources, check out the next page. And remember, if you are uncertain what type of law you are looking for,