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INTRODUCTION

Well over two hundred years after the ratification of the Constitution, the United States boasts a legal system that is the envy of the world. Based on the concept of the rule of law, the American system holds as its central ideal the notion of equal treatment of all people before the law. Immi grants throughout history have sought to come here to live under this system, and they still do, often at the risk of great sacrifice and danger.

Though deeply derivative of the English legal system, the structure of American law is in its essence unique because of its foundation on a written constitution. Both the English and the American are common law systems, rather than civil law systems, in which the customs and long-standing practices of life and living are incorporated into the established law. The notion of stare decisis, the application of established principles to freshly encountered cases, becomes crucial then to the process of maintaining the existence of commonly held principles over time. In other words, consistency in the law is sustained.

Another unique characteristic of American law, one that seems elusive to those not familiar with it, is the balance between federal law and the laws of the fifty states. The dual nature of this arrangement results in a constant natural tension between the two sovereign entities. It has been primarily left to the courts to negotiate the sometimes delicate, sometimes brittle relationship between the states and the federal government. Some of the weightiest Supreme Court cases having focused on this concept of federalism. Dualism, perhaps a repeated theme in American law, is seen in the classification of substantive law, the regulation of rights, and procedural law, pertaining to the rules governing the administration of substantive law, as well as in the categorization of public law and private law.

But the Constitution itself represents the most distinctive and original clement of the American legal system. Ever flexible, it has proved capable of standing as a written document for the guidance of eighteenth-century government, as an anchor during the development of the United States as an industrial and commercial leader in the nineteenth century, a bulwark of freedom in the twentieth-century fight for civil rights, and a model of success to the developing world of the twenty-first century. The Constitution has also laid down fundamentals: that a common citizen can have access to the highest court of the nation, that minorities can find protection and equality, that basic rights are articulated, and that judicial review allows for the reinterpretation of the law by succeeding generations. All these and more constitute the most respected, most imitated system of law in the world. As a document outlining law as well as delineating a whole structure of government, the Constitution has allowed American democracy to flourish well beyond what its framers might have imagined. Despite wrenching and persistent problems of race and poverty, no nation m the world can claim a deeper commitment to the freedom and democracy that springs from its system of laws.

People at all levels of government and within many aspects of the law help to make the system run. Lawyers, who took part in building the scaffolding of American law, have had a long and interesting history in this country. In addition to their usual workplaces in law offices and courtrooms, lawyers in America today can be found working in a myriad of professions and occupations. Because the law offers training that can be applied to a broad and varied field of interests, lawyers are equipped to function successfully throughout the marketplace of professional experience. As legal practitioners, lawyers seem to find their way into public view. It is not surprising, then, to see them in such varied postures as leaders in politics; symbols in popular culture; characters in novels, movies, and television sitcoms; figures in celebrity litigation; objects of jokes; commentators on public policy issues; and journalistic pundits. Lawyers, it seems, are ubiquitous.

This, of course, has not always been the case. In seventeenth-century colonial America, it was not possible to earn a living lawyering, and most legal work was done as a part-time activity. After the Civil War, and continuing on into the early years of the twentieth century, the rise of national industrial corporations and transcontinental railroads stimulated a turn to the law and the need for lawyers. These early corporate lawyers bore little resemblance to the still-active, rough-hewn frontier lawyer. One notable bridge between these two worlds was Abe Lincoln, whose emergence from small-town lawyer to advocate for the railroad companies spans the two extremes of the law at mid-century. The twentieth century, and the New Deal in particular, saw an increase in the number of government-employed lawyers, foreshadowing a general increase in lawyers after World War II. And the entrance of women into the profession swelled the ranks further, most of the growth beginning in the 1970s.

In this website, we have attempted to give a full account of the influence of the law in American culture. A section on the symbols of the law touches on the mythical nature of images of the law, as well as the design and architecture of the buildings in which lawyers, judges, and legal scholars have discharged their functions over the years. We outline the progress of legal education, from the earliest colonial training methods to the modern law school, and then devote a section to the multifaceted practice of the law, from country lawyer to contemporary statesman. We trace famous trials, those that may not have transformed the course of legal history but are recognizable to most people of their day, and after. The courts, the backbone of American law, are described, followed by the development of the law through landmark cases—those that stand at the core of our legal system. The dramatic cases that hit the headlines, what we call media sensations, are sprinkled through American cultural history, and we devote a section to these, then move on to a discussion of the lawyers image through popular culture—fiction, television, movies, and cartoons.

The law infuses American cultural, intellectual, business, and popular life. It is how we organize human activity and how we transform our sense of a just, fair, and productive way of living into a framework to guide our actions. It regulates everything from the simple act of crossing a street to our relationships with foreign nations; it proclaims and protects America's understanding of what is right and what is wrong. Essentially, it brings order to the disarray of human life.

 

 


Justice

Legal Education

The Practice

Trial

Court

Landmark Cases

Media

Lawyer

Conclusion

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TITLE: Law and Legal Services at CitiMall Shopping Mall

Law Category: Prepaid Legal Services, Law , Legal, Attorney, Advice, Firm, Search, Attorneys, Lawyers, Power of Attorney, Durable, Forms

Shopping Mall: Law and Legal Services get attorney advice, search, law firm, legal law advice Forms, law, power of attorney, Legal service, Free legal Forms, legal advice, legal, aid, legal document, prepaid legal, help, information

Law Topics: Preapaid Legal Services, Law, Legal, Attorney, Advice, Law Firm, Search, attorneys, Legal Terms, Free legal documents, attorney, lawyer, lawyers, power of attorneys durable, forms