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Legal Studies Library Toolbox

This guide has been developed as an academic toolbox for students in the Legal Studies program.

What is the Law?

According to Nolo's Plain English Law Dictionary (2013), law is defined as "any system of regulations to govern the conduct of the people of an organization, community, society, or nation. A statute, ordinance, or regulation enacted by the legislative branch of a government."


The U.S. Court System

State Versus Federal Law

State Law:  States can create a variety of laws on issues such as child custody, divorce, landlord-tenant, small business, personal injury, and wills and trusts.

Federal Law:  The Federal government creates the law for a few specific subject areas, such as copyrights, patents, bankruptcy, federal taxes, and Social Security

*There can also be areas of the law that covered by both state and federal governments, such as the food and drug regulation.

Courtesy of Nolo's Law for All Website