William & Mary
Allison Orr Larsen

Allison Orr Larsen

Professor of Law and Director, Institute of the Bill of Rights Law
Degrees: J.D., University of Virginia; B.A., College of William and Mary
Email: [[amlarsen]]
Office phone: (757) 221-7985
Office location: Room 254D
Full resume: here (.pdf in new window)
Areas of Specialization

Administrative Law; Appellate Advocacy; Constitutional Law; Federal Courts; Legislation

Teaching Interests

Administrative Law; Constitutional Law; Statutory Interpretation

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Allison Orr Larsen is a professor of law who teaches courses in constitutional law, administrative law, and statutory interpretation. Since joining the William & Mary law faculty in 2010, she has received many awards honoring her teaching and scholarship including: the university’s Alumni Fellowship Award, the Walter L. Williams Jr. Memorial Teaching Award, two university-wide Plumeri Awards, the inaugural McGlothlin Teaching Award and the state-wide Outstanding Faculty Award in the “Rising Star” category (the latter is Virginia’s highest faculty honor, awarded by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia).

Professor Larsen is a scholar of constitutional law and legal institutions, with a focus on how information dynamics affect both. Her work on fact-finding at the Supreme Court has been featured multiple times in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. She has published in the nation’s top law reviews and has been cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for the Seventh Circuit. Larsen also appeared with Stephen Colbert as a guest on The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) to discuss her scholarship on Supreme Court amicus briefs.

Professor Larsen received her B.A. from William & Mary in 1999 and her law degree in 2004 from the University of Virginia where she graduated first in her class. After law school, Professor Larsen clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and for Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to joining the William & Mary faculty, Professor Larsen was an associate in the appellate practice group at O’Melveny and Myers in Washington DC.

Professor Larsen spent the fall of 2016 as a visiting scholar at Oxford University, and the fall of 2018 as the Daniel P.S. Paul Visiting Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School.

Click here to view SCHEV Award article in William & Mary News.

Click here to watch Professor Larsen on The Colbert Report.

In the News

  • Greg Stohr, Post-Scalia Court Has Liberals Winning, Conservatives Venting, Bloomberg, June 28, 2016. Online.
  • Theresa Vargas, What was lost, what was gained: Women share abortion stories with Supreme Court, Wash. Post, April 11, 2016. Online.
  • Adam Liptak, Study Shows How Much Work It Takes to Be Supreme Court's Friend, NYTimes, March 7, 2016. Online.
  • For additional recent press interviews, click here

    Scholarly Publications
    • Judicial Decisionmaking (with Tom Clark, Barry Friedman, Maggie Lemos, and Andrew Martin) (a new casebook forthcoming).
    • Judging Under Fire & the Retreat to Facts, 61 Wm. & Mary Law Rev. ___ (Forthcoming 2020). SSRN.
    • Virtual Briefing at the Supreme Court, 105 Cornell L. Rev. 85 (2019) (with Jeff Fisher). SSRN.
    • Supreme Court Norms of Impersonality, 33 Constitutional Commentary 373 (2018). SSRN.
    • Constitutional Law in an Age of Alternative Facts, 93 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 175 (2018). SSRN.
    • Judicial Fact-Finding in an Age of Rapid Change: Creative Reforms from Abroad, 130 Harv. L. Rev. F. 316 (2017). Online.
    • The Amicus Machine, 102 Va. L. Rev. 1901 (2016) (with Neal E. Devins). SSRN.
    • Do Laws Have a Constitutional Shelf Life?, 94 Tex. L. Rev. 59 (2015). SSRN.
    • The Trouble with Amicus Facts, 100 Va. L. Rev. 1757 (2014). SSRN.
    • Factual Precedents, 162 U. Pa. L. Rev. 59 (2013). SSRN.
    • Confronting Supreme Court Fact Finding, 98 Va. L. Rev. 1255 (2012). SSRN.
    • Bargaining Inside the Black Box, 99 Geo. L.J. 1567 (2011). SSRN.
    • Perpetual Dissents, 15 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 447 (2008). SSRN.
    • Legal scholarship highlight: The Amicus Machine, SCOTUSblog (2016) (with Neal E. Devins). Online.

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