Law is the language society uses to define relationships, to explain rights and obligations and to regulate interaction between people. It is an enormously complex subject, encompassing the full range of humanities and social sciences, and posing profound questions about equality, fairness and justice. Acquiring the skills to think like a lawyer takes years of training. It is like learning a new language, with vocabulary, grammar, intonation and subtleties to learn.
The precise nature of law is a matter of ongoing debate. It has been described as a scientific discipline, an art, or a form of social control. It is generally understood to encompass the rules and regulations created by a community or a government that are designed to shape behaviour in a particular way. It also includes the ethical principles and values that are used to guide it.
There are many different types of law in the world. A broad distinction can be made between (a) civil law jurisdictions, in which a legislature codifies and consolidates its laws, and (b) common law systems, in which judge-made precedent is binding. Religious law also plays a significant role in some jurisdictions, with Sharia law being the world’s most widely used religious legal system and Christian canon law still existing as the primary legal system in some church communities.
The study of law provides a valuable insight into the workings of society and provides an opportunity to develop skills across the whole spectrum of the humanities and social sciences. It can also be an important preparation for a career in business, science or other professions where the ability to understand and interpret complex issues is essential.
Law is an immensely complex subject and its study requires an understanding of a wide variety of subjects including history, philosophy, economics, political science, sociology and theology. Moreover, the law itself is constantly changing as societal norms and perceptions of what is right and wrong change. It is therefore a subject that will appeal to a broad spectrum of students and intellectuals.
Unlike most other academic disciplines, the law is also a practical discipline, with its practitioners having to deal with real life problems. This can provide an interesting contrast to the more theoretical aspects of other subjects.
In addition, lawyers are paid well and often have a great deal of status in society. This means that they can meet and work with powerful people in many spheres of life, which is not necessarily the case with other professions. This can be an extremely rewarding aspect of the job. For example, a high profile defence lawyer may be able to secure a high profile client, which can have a positive impact on their personal life as well as their professional one. They will also have a good rapport with the general public, which can be beneficial for their personal and professional lives. In the long run, this can lead to a more happy and fulfilled life for the average lawyer.