Law is a system of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. The precise nature of laws is a matter of long-standing debate, but most agree that they exist to establish standards, maintain order, resolve disputes, and protect liberties and rights. Laws may be made by a collective legislature, resulting in statutes, decreed by the executive through orders and regulations, or established through precedent, referred to as stare decisis, in common law systems. Private individuals may also create legally binding contracts, thereby establishing law for themselves.
Among the most important goals of a legal system are to ensure that everyone is treated equally, that core human and procedural rights are protected, and that people can collaborate with government officials to improve the law and solve problems. However, even in a well-ordered society, disagreements and conflicts arise. The law provides a way to resolve these conflicts peacefully through judicial processes. For example, when two people argue over a piece of property, they may not fight but instead go to court and allow the courts to decide who owns it.
Laws can be classified into three categories: civil, criminal and administrative. Each area of law has its own focuses and specialised terminology, but the subjects all intertwine and overlap. For example, labour law covers the tripartite relationship between worker, employer and trade union, while contract law defines what can and cannot be exchanged for goods or services. Property law outlines what a person’s rights are to their tangible properties (such as buildings or cars) and intangible ones (such as bank accounts and shares of stock).
A person can study law as either a profession or as a subject for college courses. In addition to law schools, there are several organizations that offer internships or clerkships for those studying for a law degree.
Zola loves to debate, so she thought a career in law would be perfect for her. She studied hard and got accepted to law school, where she met a lot of interesting people. After graduating, she went to work in a big firm and is now killing it as a lawyer.
The law is what keeps us safe and gives us our freedoms. It’s the code that ensures our societies are orderly, that we respect each other’s rights, and that the police and governments act in the best interests of citizens. But there are many underlying issues with our current law, from how we make laws to how they’re enforced. A new definition of the law could help to address these issues and improve the quality of justice for all.