Law is a systematic system of laws designed and enforced by governmental or societal institutions to regulate behaviour, with an exact definition a matter of prolonged debate. It is commonly defined as an abstract art and science of right conduct. In common usage, the law is used to describe a body of law that is universally understood and applied by the states to treat disputes. It is also used to refer to a set of human rights or legal traditions considered by the states to be essential for a civilized society. Individuals may be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, to be protected from cruel and inhumane treatment, and to enjoy freedom of speech and religion.
The development of laws and their subsequent interpretation is the process through which a legal system is established. For instance, laws that address the issue of property inheritance are common law, which came from the practices and principles of common law systems in Britain and the rest of Europe. These were later modified and adapted by American common law during the colonial era. The first British laws to deal with the estate were codified after the dissolution of the Roman Republic in 4 Carthage in the 7th century.
English civil law developed as part of the development of the Common Law. This is the oldest form of law recognized in the United States. English jurisprudence is the product of the influence of the judicial system of ancient Rome and the Roman Law, together with ideas from Greek, French, and English common law. The majority of English jurisdictions retain elements of common law in their existing jurisprudence.
The development of American Jurisprudence began in the seventeenth century with the codification of the penal laws by the New England colonial assembly. Colonial America was greatly influenced by the colonists, who were strongly opposed to the rule of King Edward III. The colonists adopted many of the practices and ideas of the French throughout Europe including the extensive use of the death penalty. Much of the modern day tort law originated with the efforts of the colonists to codify and develop judicial practices that had been largely affected by the French throughout Europe and Africa. Tort law is the area of the law that limits the ability of a person to act on his or her own behalf.
American property law developed after the Revolutionary War with the development of the US legal system. Early American settlers focused much of their attention on individual rights, self-ownership, and private property. Over time, these rights became intertwined with the more general legal theories of freedom of contract and natural law. The growth of American industry also greatly impacted property law.
Early American land laws required compensation for Indian tribesmen who were killed by white trappers. For example, the Ft. Madison Indian tribe in Ohio was required to pay for the funeral expenses and disburse funeral supplies to the surviving family members. The Ft. Madison treaty established a policy of compensated removal. Another early law was the Virginia charter, which contained a provision empowering any person holding a ‘share’ of a Virginia plantation to apprehend and remove any person not paid his wages. Other early laws included a ban on slave trading and a law allowing a child to inherit from his father. Today, the Virginia General Assembly has discussed amending these laws in an effort to increase funds to help with education.
In order to be considered for the Hall of Fame, law students must have argued and won cases under the areas of the law recognized by the American Bar Association. Some current members of the Hall of Fame include civil rights attorney Dolores Huberthal, labor lawyer John Lewis Brown, and author Randy Pausch. All three have been nominated for their cases, argued in front of the Supreme Court, and won them for their clients. Others on the list have less noteworthy cases. These include immigration lawyer John Anderson and author Frank Rich.
Law schools are very diverse. Students can pursue both criminal law and civil law. They will study the theories and apply them in real life cases before becoming lawyers. Those who complete the requirements are given credentials recognized by the bar. Law students may also be asked to write essays on their chosen areas of law and read from a wide variety of literature to prepare for the test.