What Is Law?

Law is a body of rules that are created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Law can serve many purposes, including establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. Some legal systems serve these purposes more effectively than others.

The precise nature of law has long been a topic of debate. Some scholars have described it as a science while others have viewed it more as an art. In any case, it has been agreed that law is a complex and constantly changing phenomenon.

A person can consider a career in law to be both intellectually and financially rewarding. However, the decision to become an attorney should be based on passion rather than monetary rewards alone. A person who enjoys their work will be happier and more satisfied, even if that career does not pay well. Moreover, a person who pursues a career in law will also learn about major societal problems and the policy and legal responses to those problems.

One of the main functions of a lawyer is to protect the rights and freedoms of their clients. This often means defending them against criminal charges. It can also involve defending civil suits brought against them by other people or companies. Regardless of the specific duties, a lawyer must be dedicated to providing their clients with the best possible service.

While the definition of law is generally a set of rules that a government creates and enforces, it can be applied to any system of rules that must be followed. For example, a parent’s house rules might be considered laws that must be obeyed. Even more, a natural instinct like self-preservation could be considered a law.

Hans Kelsen created the “pure theory of law” which states that law is a normative science. This law definition argues that the purpose of law is to describe what must occur, and it seeks to ensure that people act in accordance with those expectations.

Friedrich Karl von Savigny believed that the law is a matter of unconscious and organic growth. It evolves according to the people and the prevailing conditions. It contains elements that are ancient, such as the coroners’ courts, which have an 800-year history, and those that are modern, such as the use of laptop computers in the courtroom.

The Greek Philosopher Aristotle commented that the law is wiser than the judges who administer it. This is because the law represents the wisdom of the community and is more reliable than the individual judgements of each judge.

Roscoe Pound gave another law definition that argued that law is the result of the interaction of different groups within society. It is a product of the tug-of-war between different forces, such as economic interests and ethical values, against a background of tradition and customs. The resulting laws are an attempt to solve the conflicting wants of these groups. Law serves the social needs of society by ensuring the uniformity and certainty of justice.