Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation (resulting in statutes), the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedent (normally in common law jurisdictions). Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including (in some jurisdictions) arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas referred to as (i) Criminal law and (ii) Civil law. Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law (not to be confused with civil law jurisdictions above) deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals or organizations. These resolutions seek to provide a legal remedy (often monetary damages) to the winning litigant. Under civil law, the following specialties, among others, exist: Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading on derivatives markets. Property law regulates the transfer and title of personal property and real property. Trust law applies to assets held for investment and financial security. Tort law allows claims for compensation if a person's property is harmed. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human rights and the election of political representatives. Administrative law governs what executive branch agencies may and may not do, procedures that they must follow to do it, and judicial review when a member of the public is harmed by an agency action. International law governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to military action. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public by public servants, a government's bureaucracy, military, and police are vital. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law, an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil society inform and support their progress
Careers in Law
There are many avenues one can go down after passing their bar exam. Corporations hire lawyers as do government agencies. Lawyers can go in to private practice and work as employment lawyers, advocacy lawyers, traffic lawyers, personal injury lawyers, divorce lawyers and family law amongst others.
If 6-8 years of school is too much for you and you want to work in a courtroom setting you could become a certified paralegal. Court reporters are in demand and make good money. With a bachelors degree you can become a mediator or arbitrator. Lawyers tired of the corporate environment, government bureaucracy or private practice can become elected or appointed judges at the state and federal level.
Salaries in Law
According to a bureau of labor statistics report in 2013 the average lawyer made $132k annually. The top 25% brought home on average $170k/year. Local, state and federal agencies retain a lot of attorneys on staff as do major corporations,but most attorneys go into private practice individually or in with partners and form firms where they will most often make the most money within the industry.