The practice of law is basically divided into two categories, criminal law and civil law. Criminal law involves prosecution by the government of persons who commit crimes and are subject to punishment such as incarceration in prison or fines. Everything other than prosecution for crimes comes under the civil category of the law.
Civil law generally involves interaction between individuals or groups regarding the conduct of human affairs that are not punished by the government. Matters that involve disputes between private parties such as negligence, defamation, nuisance, breach of contract, real property titles, or that involve life planning such as preparing the disposition of property upon death, organizing a corporation or limited liability company, or probating the estate of a deceased loved one, all fall within the civil areas of law.