What Is Law?


Law is the process of interpreting and enforcing a particular set of laws. There are hundreds of different legal systems around the world, including federal, state, and local laws. There is also international law, which has great importance on the global level. International law is usually created through the practice of sovereign states or agreement between them, but some transnational entities have their own legal structures as well. Today, there are over 180 sovereign states in the United Nations Organization, and many of them are federal, meaning that their constituent parts have their own laws.

Common law

The common law is the body of law that is established by judges throughout a nation. It derives from precedent and custom and dates back to King Henry II’s reforms in the 12th century. These reforms ensured that all courts applied the same principles. One of the main components of the common law is the doctrine of binding precedent, or stare decisis, which requires courts to consider principles from previous cases when deciding a case.

Courts of equity

A court of equity is also known as a chancery court. It is a separate court authorized to apply the principles of equity in a particular case. It is usually smaller than a regular court, and its decisions are not subject to appeal.

Courts of general jurisdiction

General jurisdiction courts hear cases in a variety of areas. These cases may include civil and criminal cases, but can also involve minor issues like juvenile offenses. These courts also have the authority to order people to perform certain duties, functions, or actions. These courts also have the power of equity.


Searching for statutes can be a difficult process if you are not familiar with the language. Fortunately, there are some resources that can help you quickly find the exact statute you are looking for. Most major online subscription services have full-text keyword search capability and an annotated code. Citators help you find the relevant case law and materials analyzing state statutes. These citation databases are also a good source for identifying recent changes to statutes.

Case law

Case law is the body of law created by courts. It is commonly used interchangeably with common law and is based on past judicial decisions, rather than statutes, regulations, or constitutions. It relies on detailed facts and court resolutions.

Online programs

An online law school is a convenient way to earn your graduate degree. Some online programs are shorter than traditional classroom programs and allow students to focus on their studies instead of juggling classes and other responsibilities. These online programs are designed to help students succeed in their field while also gaining practical experience that can help them in the real world.