The Powers That Be
Real World Equivalent
18th Century Europe with Magic/Steam-punk Technology.
Magic Magic Everywhere
The basic concept of the world is that magic (arcane magic specifically) is everywhere and can be used by almost everyone. Unlike it is often portrayed in fantasy worlds, in this world arcane magic is not something only a select few can use or some secret knowledge that wizards dedicate their lives to understand.
Think of it like programming IRL. It isn’t necessarily easy, it takes a special person to do it well, but anyone can pick up the basics at home on the weekends by reading a book. And if you are halfway decent you can go anywhere and get a job. Also like programming it is one of the most in-demand skills.
Magic and the Social Structure
In respect to magic, the people at the top may not have the best magical prowess but they will definitely have people under them who are in the elite. In general magic is power social/political/economic and literal death dealing power.
You can assume that anyone with social/politcal power has magic at their disposal.
Magic and Technology
In the major cities it is not uncommon for technological advances to be magic based. Such as: elevators via the levitation spell, a trapped fire elemental instead of burning coal, Preserve Corpse spells for keeping meats fresh during transport, etc.
Some schools or spells may be banned and illegal to use, such as Charm Person, or necromancy.
Magic Among the Races
To rip off everyone, magic is dispersed according the the following cliches
High/Grey Elves or Eladrin have the greatest natural abilities and the most potent spells
Wood/WIld Elves are the best druids and nature/divine casters.
Dwarfs have no Arcane aptitude but are the best craftsmen of all kinds. They do have divine magic but divine users are regulated to the clergy.
Are the great tinkerers and responsible for most of the magical technology.
The stereotypical Jack-of-all-trades and can do anything
Monstrous Humanoids such as orcs, ogres, kobolds, etc Have no magical aptitude of any kind. There are exceptions of course but few and far between. This disparity of magic usage is what has led to the general villainy or evil stereotype. They have magic envy.