Law is the system of rules that governs a community or society, whether in the form of written laws passed by a legislative body, such as statutes; informal or unwritten policies and practices, such as custom; or judicial precedent, such as case law. Laws can also be defined as the discipline of knowledge that deals with legal matters.

The precise nature of law is a matter of debate, with many theories of law based on philosophical, societal, or scientific considerations. Law is often considered a social construct, as it may serve one or more of four main purposes: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving conflict, and preserving liberty and rights.

In some cultures, the concept of law has a religious foundation. For example, Islamic law is based on the Quran and further elaborated by legal scholars through the use of interpretative techniques, including Qiyas (reasoning by analogy), Ijma (consensus), and precedent. The Jewish Halakha, and Christian canon law are other examples of religiously-based law.

Many different types of law exist in the world, covering everything from the regulating of commerce and intellectual property to the military and the treatment of criminals. Some types of law are enforced by the government at the local, state, or federal level, while others are enforced by private organizations such as businesses and trade associations. There are also types of law that are imposed by international bodies, such as the United Nations or European Union.

The scope of law is vast and varied, with the law differing between individual countries depending on their political landscape and history. For example, while a government that imposes an authoritarian rule may keep the peace and maintain the status quo, it can also oppress minorities and other opponents of its authority. In contrast, a democracy that promotes human rights and freedom of expression may lead to a more democratic approach to the law.

In the United States, law is governed by the Constitution and the various laws enacted by Congress. These include regulations governing aviation, bankruptcy, the carriage of goods, and more. There is also a collection of laws called the United States Code, which contains all federal statutes. The United States Code is arranged by subject matter and shows the present status of each law, with amendments incorporated in the text or shown as not yet incorporated into it.

Legal articles can be found in a variety of places, from newspapers to legal magazines. Some legal articles focus on a specific topic, while others analyze general legal issues or provide critiques of recent changes to legislation. Legal articles tend to be written with a scholarly tone, and they frequently employ footnotes and the language of law review. Legal articles also sometimes take a stance on controversial legal issues, such as gun control or the legality of abortion. This type of article is commonly seen in journals or law reviews. In areas that have a high concentration of legal professionals, legal articles may be required reading for students and professors.