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Alison LaCroix : Courses and Seminars

American Legal History, 1607-1870
LAWS 97601
This course examines major themes and interpretations in the history of American law and legal institutions from the earliest European settlements through the Civil War. Topics include continuity and change between English and American law in the colonial period; the American Revolution; changing understandings of the U.S. Constitution; the legal status of women and African Americans; federalism; commerce; slavery; and the Civil War and Reconstruction. The student's grade will be based on a take-home final examination and class participation.
Winter 2014
Alison LaCroix
Civil Procedure II
LAWS 30221
Civil Procedure is offered in two parts. Part I meets in the Autumn Quarter and addresses the mechanics of civil litigation, with special reference to pleading, discovery, and trial, including the respective roles of judge and jury. Part II is offered in the Spring Quarter and focuses on the study of the power of particular courts to decide cases (subject-matter jurisdiction); jurisdiction of the courts over the person or things before them; the scope and effect of judgments; principles of finality of judgments; and the rules governing joinder of claims and parties. The student's grade is based on an examination given at the end of each quarter.
Spring 2014
Alison LaCroix
Constitutional Law I: Governmental Structure
LAWS 40101
This course provides an introduction to federal constitutional law and constitutional theory. Topics to be covered include the function of judicial review; the role of the states and the federal government in the federal structure; and the allocation of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
Autumn 2013
Alison LaCroix
Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation: Questions and Methods
LAWS 51601
This seminar aims to combine methodologies in research on historical jurisprudence and in theoretical and computational linguistics, with a view to understanding the meanings of words and phrases in context. We will examine theories of textual meaning from legal studies and linguistics, including originalism, textualism, common law constitutionalism, and other methods that require the interpreter to have a theory of which written sources, and which words, count for purposes of determining constitutional meaning. The seminar will also introduce distinctions from formal semantics and pragmatics concerning the construction of meaning, and corpus-based modeling of lexical meaning. The seminar thus aims to acquaint students with these techniques, to apply them to several interpretive questions (e.g., those surrounding the Second Amendment), and to model how such research can be conducted for questions of the students' own interest. Third hour of course optional for Law students. 16 seats will be initially allocated to Law School students and 10 to Linguistics students. Law students wishing to enroll in the seminar should email a short statement of interest to both professors, including their background in relevant areas and the reasons for their interest in the seminar, by August 26. Linguistics students should email no later than December 17. A final paper will be required.
Winter 2014
Alison LaCroix
Workshop: Public Law and Legal Theory
LAWS 63402
Working from a variety of methodological orientations, the workshop examines questions arising at the intersections of public law, legal theory, and interdisciplinary work in law and the social sciences, with an emphasis on politics, legal history, and legal theory. Sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers by faculty members from other institutions. Students must enroll for the entire year and will receive one pass/fail credit. Students are required to read the papers, attend the workshop, ask questions, and to submit one reaction paper per quarter on a paper of their choosing.
Winter 2014
R. H. Helmholz, Alison LaCroix, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Eduardo Peñalver, Jennifer Nou
Workshop: Public Law and Legal Theory
LAWS 63402
Working from a variety of methodological orientations, the workshop examines questions arising at the intersections of public law, legal theory, and interdisciplinary work in law and the social sciences, with an emphasis on politics, legal history, and legal theory. Sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers by faculty members from other institutions. Students must enroll for the entire year and will receive one pass/fail credit. Students are required to read the papers, attend the workshop, ask questions, and to submit one reaction paper per quarter on a paper of their choosing.
Spring 2014
R. H. Helmholz, Alison LaCroix, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Eduardo Peñalver, Jennifer Nou
Workshop: Public Law and Legal Theory
LAWS 63402
Working from a variety of methodological orientations, the workshop examines questions arising at the intersections of public law, legal theory, and interdisciplinary work in law and the social sciences, with an emphasis on politics, legal history, and legal theory. Sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers by faculty members from other institutions. Students must enroll for the entire year and will receive one pass/fail credit. Students are required to read the papers, attend the workshop, ask questions, and to submit one reaction paper per quarter on a paper of their choosing.
Autumn 2013
R. H. Helmholz, Alison LaCroix, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Eduardo Peñalver, Jennifer Nou