While there are many different types of law that can be studied and considered, it is often easiest to group them into two basic categories: public laws and private laws. Public laws are those established by a government to better organize and regulate citizen behavior, which often include criminal laws and constitutional laws. Private laws are those established to help regulate business and private agreements between individuals, usually including tort law and property laws. This is not an official method for organizing the different categories of law, but one easy way to distinguish different types that can then be further categorized.
Types of law can be quite general in nature, or very specific, depending on the purpose of categorization. Most of the easiest methods of categorization break laws down into a few basic types. It is often easiest to view them as either private or public laws.
Public law often refers to such laws as criminal laws, constitutional laws, and administrative laws. Within these categories are a number of other types of law, such as the different types of criminal laws that can include everything from battery and trespassing to larceny and murder. Constitutional laws are often established to govern the way in which a country’s government operates, as well as laws that govern relationships between different states or provinces. Administrative laws are typically set by various government agencies to better organize what actions those agencies may allow or consider a violation of law.
Private laws are types of law that govern private interactions and business agreements between individuals. These usually include tort laws that typically result in civil actions, such as lawsuits between individuals or businesses rather than criminal charges. Such laws can include everything from personal property laws to copyright and trademark laws, and even contract and negligence laws.
There are also many different types of law that can be organized and categorized based on the geographical area that such laws cover. Maritime or admiralty laws, for example, are laws established to deal with actions in and around bodies of water, while aviation laws govern actions in the air and space. Other subject area laws include: education laws, which can include both public and private laws; entertainment law, which often involves contract and private law; and immigration law. A lawyer typically chooses from these different types of law to specialize in and might practice that type exclusively.