The Basics of Law


Law is the body of enforceable rules that governs relationships and activities among people. It is the foundation of many aspects of society, including business and government. Law is the focus of a large number of scholarly disciplines, such as legal history, philosophy and economic analysis, and raises complex issues about fairness and justice.

In addition to providing a foundation for civil society, law serves several important purposes: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. From a methodological perspective, law is unique in that it contains normative statements which cannot be verified by empirical evidence (such as a law of gravity).

The study of law includes jurisprudence and the practice of law. Jurisprudence studies the theory and structure of the legal system, and the practice of law is the activity of resolving disputes between individuals or groups of people. The practice of law encompasses a broad range of areas, such as family law, civil rights and criminal defense.

A lawsuit is a legal action that begins when a plaintiff complains that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty and thereby caused harm. The participants in a lawsuit are called litigants. A jury pool is a group of people from which a lawyer chooses the actual jury for a case. A court decision which a party can appeal is called a judgment. The process of appealing is known as a legal appeal. A person who files a legal appeal is called an appellant.

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