What is Law?


Law is the body of rules that govern human behavior and help people make decisions about what is right and wrong. It shapes the way that we live our lives and helps shape society, politics, and economics.

Law can be defined in different ways, and is most commonly used to refer to laws made by a government. These are generally laws that citizens must follow or face punishment for breaking. For example, if someone is caught stealing they may be fined or put in jail.

In a very general sense, a law is anything that is considered to be a rule of action or conduct, whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. The word law is also applied to any lawful action that is approved or sanctioned by the authority which has enacted it.

Another meaning of law is the invariable relationship between phenomena under a specific set of conditions or circumstances. The law of gravity, for example, is a law that states that an object will fall to the ground if it is thrown up and held in space.

There are many different forms of law that govern everything from the way we behave to our rights as individuals, businesses, and citizens. Some forms of law are more specific than others, including criminal, civil, and family law.

A law can be a written rule that is imposed by a government, or it can be an unwritten law that was passed by a group of people who were recognized as having the authority to establish rules. Law is the foundation for a nation’s legal system, and it can be very important for a country’s survival.

Laws are often written down in books and then compiled into a code that is used by the government to enforce them. This collection of codes is called a statute book and contains a variety of different laws. The Statutes at Large are the main source of United States federal laws, but there are many other sources for researching and citing law.

The Law Library offers access to these sources and is happy to assist you in finding and locating the materials that you need for your assignments. There are several different indexes that you can consult to locate articles. These include:

Bibliographical References

The Library has several citation books that list legal and general reference sources. These books are a great resource for finding information on specific topics, and they can also be very helpful for understanding the legal systems of different countries.


The library has several law periodicals that you can access for free using the LCPC. These periodicals provide up-to-date information about recent cases and upcoming events in the legal world.

These are great resources for keeping up with current legal issues, and they can be especially useful when reading for law coursework. You can find them in the Reserve Reading Room or in Lexis Advance and Westlaw.


A treatise is a scholarly publication that provides in-depth coverage of a topic of interest to the legal community. These are usually multiple volumes and provide in-depth analysis and commentary. The Law Library has several of these available in print and online, including Wigmore on Evidence, Corbin on Contracts, and the Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS).