What Is Law?

Law is the body of rules regulating behavior in a given community and enforced by a controlling authority. It can be derived from custom and policy, or from legislative statutes, executive decrees, or the decisions of judges in common law systems. The discipline and profession devoted to studying such laws is called jurisprudence.

Law serves four main purposes: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes, and protecting liberties and rights. The precise definition of law remains controversial, with some arguing that it simply reflects a society’s mores and values, while others argue that it is a collection of commandments backed by the threat of sanctions from a sovereign and accepted by the people in their ordinary lives. Still others, like Jeremy Bentham, assert that the law is merely “commands imposed on men by the superior power of the state, in return for protection and other benefits.”

Some laws cover specific types of property, such as real property (land) or personal property (movable things such as cars or computers). Other laws involve the rights of inventors to their inventions, which can be protected by a type of patent called intellectual property law, or the rights of trademarks to companies and individuals using them. Trust law (business law) deals with the rights and duties of trustees, and a number of other laws set out how to organize companies or manage investments and funds. Tort law helps people claim compensation if they have been harmed or have had their property stolen, and family law includes the rights of married couples, children, and heirs.

Legal topics can be very diverse, so writers should try to focus on a specific angle in the article that they write. This makes the article more interesting for readers, and it also helps to make the piece easier to read. The article should have a good introduction that draws the reader in and frames the topic, and then the writer should provide a road map of the different sections and sub-topics that they are going to discuss in the article.

Writing a legal article requires a great deal of research, as it is important to find the most up-to-date information possible. However, it is equally important to be able to separate fact from opinion when researching a legal topic. A lot of misinformation exists, especially online, so the writer should take great care to only use reputable sources.

Writing a legal article is a difficult task, and it is easy to get bogged down in the research phase and never get started on the actual drafting of the paper. To help avoid this, the writer should aim to create multiple research pathways and vary the search terms used, to ensure that they are not falling prey to the ‘law of small numbers’ effect where a single result is often repeated in other similar results. Then, when it is clear that they have found the most relevant and authoritative materials, the writer should begin drafting.