The Study of Law
Law is a system of rules created by social or governmental institutions to ensure that individuals and communities adhere to a set of standards. Law can be enacted by a legislative body, which results in statutes, by the executive, leading to decrees and regulations, or by judges, who establish legal precedent (in common law jurisdictions). Private individuals may also create legally binding contracts that are enforced through the court system.
The study of law is a rich source of academic inquiry into issues of history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. In addition, law raises a host of complex questions regarding equality and fairness.
A court of appeals is a legal entity that reviews the decisions of lower courts or tribunals in cases where there has been a legal error or a violation of the rules of procedure. Courts of appeal may also be used to review the decisions of administrative agencies in some situations.
Law encompasses a broad range of subjects, from the rules governing contracts to the rights of property owners and how they are protected under the legal system. Law includes criminal laws that address conduct considered harmful to society and civil laws that deal with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between people or organizations.
The law provides a wide variety of career opportunities, both in the private sector and in government agencies. Lawyers can specialize in particular areas of law, such as labor and employment law, real estate, personal injury or medical malpractice. Other lawyers can choose to focus on public service, working as prosecutors and defense attorneys for the government or as municipal or district attorneys.
Some lawyers work in the area of international law, which involves the negotiation and enforcement of multilateral treaties ratified by governments and private entities. This type of law is often influenced by moral principles, and the founders of the United Nations included the goal of promoting the progressive development of international law among its founding charter articles.
The legal profession is a fascinating and challenging field with many career paths available. The first step in becoming a lawyer is to select an area of law that interests you. After deciding upon an area, immerse yourself in the field by reading widely and writing down unanswered questions that could be addressed in a law review article. Then, use your skeleton outline to write your research paper and prepare for peer review. This is a critical stage of your legal education, so don’t skip it!