Law is a structured system of rules developed and enforced by governmental or social institutions to govern behavior, with an exact definition again a matter of long-standing debate. It is most commonly defined as the art and science of civil law. The study of law started in the 10th century with the Renaissance, when it started to be referred to as “the court of law”. The term became increasingly common during the middle ages and gradually replaced the Latin term “justia gentes” meaning “people of law”.
From the word itself, it is implied that justice is the principle that governs society, while fairness is the standard of behavior expected of individuals in society. With these two principles, the study of law started to be referred to as “social justice” or “moral justice”. The growth of the legal system has, over time, broadened its scope from just being concerned with social justice to also including aspects of justice that are not strictly related to a person’s behavior. For instance, laws that protect human dignity, freedom, and privacy also fall under the larger field of social justice and are thus encompassed within the study of law.
The purpose of the law is to define the relationships among individuals, to establish or recognize a controlling authority, and to restrict or define rights. Within these three areas, there are three main theories involved: property, civil, and private law. Property, civil, and private laws are the three branches of law that seek to define or regulate the use of property, rights, and responsibilities of individuals and groups within a given society. Civil law seeks to resolve disputes between individuals or groups as a result of agreements made by the governing structure of the society. Private law generally deals with disputes between individuals or groups as a result of an involuntary association in which one party benefits from the actions or inactions of another.
A major part of the purposes behind laws is to promote social harmony and societal responsibility. A long description of what the purpose of laws is can be found in the Bible. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is to remind us of our obligations as God’s commandments. It is important to note that the commandment doesn’t directly ask for reciprocal action. A long description of what it means would be “You shall not kill.” This is seen in Deuteronomy 20:5.
In addition to the purposes above, laws were designed to ensure the security and protection of a society. Another important part of the purposes behind laws is to ensure that society as a whole gets what it deserves, and that the distribution of resources is fair. Another important aspect of the goals of laws is to give justice for the weak and for the suffering. For instance, a slave who is treated badly by his master should have a chance to be avenged. The purpose of a law school is to train students to pursue a legal career, and in that quest, they must learn about the importance of laws.
In essence, laws are the controlling authority for any society. Without laws, a society can easily succumb to chaos and oppression. If you want to be a lawyer, all you need to do is get a license from a bar association, pass the bar examination, and practice law in an established law firm. Lawyers provide a vital role in maintaining a civilized society, and without lawyers, society would quickly descend into chaos and oppression.