Law is a system of rules that governs the lives of individuals, groups, and institutions. In a nation-state, law can serve to keep the peace, maintain the status quo, preserve individual rights, protect minorities against majorities, promote social justice, and provide for orderly social change.
Legal systems vary greatly from country to country. Some countries use only civil law, while others have a mixture of common law, religious and customary laws. In addition, there are various international and transnational legal systems.
Various branches of law are also involved in the administration of government. Administrative law covers regulations governing the workplace and business; civil procedure concerns the process of trial and appeals in courts; criminal procedure deals with court proceedings and prosecutions of crime; immigration and nationality law involves people who live in other nations or who wish to acquire or lose their citizenship; and family law involves marriage and divorce, child custody, and inheritance.
Property law defines the rights and duties of a person or group to tangible and intangible property, such as land, vehicles, homes, and other assets. It is a complex and evolving field that includes everything from zoning laws to the regulation of business transactions.
Employment law regulates the relationships between employees and employers, including job security, compensation, and labor unions. It is a complex and developing field that covers everything from minimum wage to health and safety regulations.
Competition law regulates the behavior of businesses that distort market prices in order to gain an advantage. It is an emerging and evolving field that traces its roots to the English restraint of trade doctrine and the U.S. antitrust statutes of the turn of the 20th century.
Religion and law are related, with many faiths incorporating legal principles into their own systems of beliefs. Examples include Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia. In the Islamic system, for example, the Quran provides a framework and guidance for further elaboration through interpretation, Qiyas (reasoning by analogy), Ijma (consensus) and precedent.
Law and philosophy of law, in general, are closely related fields of inquiry that are rooted in philosophy and political theory. They raise important questions of equality, fairness and justice, and they play an essential role in shaping the way individuals and societies think about and act toward these issues.
Some of the most significant developments in this area occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Max Weber, a lawyer, founded sociology and law. His ideas helped to shape legal reforms throughout the world, including the rise of democratic governments in the United States and other Western nations.
Step 1: Decide upon a relevant research question
To make your law review article more likely to get excellent feedback during peer review, you should first choose a topic that interests you. You can choose a broad subject and immerse yourself in the sub-topics within it, or you can choose a specific area that you plan to practice in later in your career.