The Importance of Writing About Law
Law is a system of rules that governs the behaviour of people and is enforced by a controlling authority through penalties. It is a complex topic and is studied in many different fields such as philosophy, history, sociology and economics. The precise nature of law is a matter of ongoing debate. For example, some scholars see it as a social construct while others view it as an abstract entity.
The law shapes politics, economics and history in a variety of ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people. For examples, it may regulate censorship, crime and policing. It also has a role in settling disputes and providing property rights. The law may be secular or religious. A general distinction can be made between (a) civil law jurisdictions, where a legislature codifies and consolidates laws, and (b) common law systems, where judges make law through their decisions in cases brought before them.
Legal articles generally aim to explain how a particular piece of legislation or legal case will affect the reader. They are often highly technical, using footnotes and written in the style of a journal or academic paper.
However, legal articles can be written for a wider audience including non-lawyers. These articles can be more readable and accessible, but they still need to be clear and concise. They should be able to answer commonly asked questions about a certain legal issue and include a reference section that lists any sources used in the article.
Whether or not the article will be appreciated depends on how it is presented and the strength of its arguments. The quality of a legal article is generally measured by its ability to inspire change or action.
For example, a legal article that argues that poor people are treated unfairly by the judicial system is likely to be more influential than one that claims that rich and poor people have equal justice under the law.
Some legal articles are based on research and statistical analysis while others are simply opinion pieces. The latter are generally not as influential but can provide useful information for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. Legal writing is not restricted to articles; it can also be found in reports, letters, and documents. A legal report, for example, might include a recommendation that a specific piece of legislation be changed or rejected. It is usually prepared by a professional. In some cases, a legal report might be published by a government agency or the court of appeals. Legal report writers are typically qualified lawyers or law students. They are often referred to as’solicitors’ or ‘barristers’. In some countries, they are referred to as ‘Esquire’ to indicate that they are barristers of greater dignity.’ In other countries, the title is ‘Dr. of Law’ to indicate that they have a doctorate in law.