In recent decades, the economic approach to law has developed into a mainstream field of study for both legal scholars and economists. This book provides a textbook treatment of the subject, primarily directed toward undergraduate economics students. It presumes a basic familiarity with economic principles, but little knowledge of the law. An effort is made to show both how economic principles can explain the actual structure of the law, and how they can help to make the law more efficient.The book emphasizes unifying themes and methodologies rather than an exhaustive coverage of legal topics. To that end, the scope of analysis is limited to the basic common law areas of torts, contracts, and property, as well as the legal process and criminal law. The hope is that after reading the book, students can apply the basic principles to other areas of law.