The US States with the Most Complex Laws

Whether you want to look for a California personal injury lawyer, a New Mexico criminal lawyer, or just any lawyer in another state, knowing the law beforehand is mandatory. Each state has its own laws, with some of them being quite complex. So, you’d be surprised to know how just how much of a difference there can be between states when it comes to the number of regulations.

If you intend to move to a different state and want to know the laws beforehand, here is a list of the U.S. states with the most complex laws.


California is on top of the list because it features the highest number of regulatory restrictions. In general, states have about 135,000 regulatory restrictions when it comes to administrative rules. California is a more special case though: it has as many as 395,608 regulatory restrictions.

So, people who study law here might have a hard time memorizing all these regulations.

New York

New York is also one of the most heavily regulated states, and when you think of how big of a state it is, it makes perfect sense. There are criminal laws, employment laws, business laws, consumer laws, tax laws, health care laws, estate planning laws, DWI laws, traffic laws, and so on. But apart from this, you also have laws such as the Poughkeepsie, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Newburg, among others.

The set of laws people have to learn to practice in the field is varied. Still, if you are passionate about the law, then you’ll have a blast going through all of them.


The third on our list is Ohio, with a very complex list of laws. Just like in any other state, you can find the family, criminal, employment, business, tax, education, and health care laws, among others. However, Ohio has some special laws like Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus laws. It also features laws regarding lotteries and gambling. Therefore, you will need to know all of these if you want to be a lawyer or perform any other legal profession in Ohio.


Illinois also has a high number of laws, so it deserves to be on the list of states with the most complex laws. If you’re studying law, then you’ll have to go through the state’s criminal, family, employment, accident, and injury, consumer, education, tax, health care, estate, gambling and lottery laws, and many others. But just like in the case of the other states, there are several special laws such as the Champaign laws, Chicago Laws, and others. Get familiar with all of them if you intend to become a lawyer in any sector.

The Bottom Line

Depending on what state you live in, you’ll have to learn different laws if you want to work in the legal sector. California is on top with the most complex laws, but the others are pretty close, too. Make sure you study them thoroughly if you intend to work as a lawyer in any of the states.