Alison L. LaCroix

Alison L. LaCroix

Robert Newton Reid Professor of Law, Associate Member of the Department of History

Alison LaCroix is Robert Newton Reid Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. She is also an Associate Member of the University of Chicago Department of History. Professor LaCroix received her BA summa cum laude in history from Yale University in 1996 and her JD from Yale Law School in 1999. She received her PhD in history from Harvard University in 2007. Before joining the University of Chicago faculty in 2006, she was a Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal History at New York University School of Law. From 1999 to 2001, she practiced in the litigation department at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. While in law school, Professor LaCroix served as Essays Editor of the Yale Law Journal and Managing Editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities.

Professor LaCroix is the author of The Ideological Origins of American Federalism (Harvard University Press, 2010) and a co-editor of two volumes on law and literature. She is currently working on a book on American constitutional discourse between 1815 and 1861 titled The Interbellum Constitution: Union, Commerce, and Slavery From the Long Founding Moment to the Civil War (under contract, Yale University Press).

Her teaching and research interests include legal history, constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, civil procedure, law and linguistics, and law and literature.

EDUCATION

Harvard University
PhD in history, 2007
AM in history, 2003

Yale Law School
JD, 1999

  • Essays editor, Yale Law Journal
  • Managing editor, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities

Yale University
BA, summa cum laude in history, 1996

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Managing editor, Yale Daily News

EXPERIENCE

The University of Chicago Law School
Robert Newton Reid Professor of Law, 2015-present
Associate Member, Department of History, 2014-present
Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Teaching Scholar, 2013-2015
Professor of Law, 2011-2015
Assistant Professor of Law, 2006-2011

The University of Chicago
Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society Fellowship, 2015-present

New York University School of Law
Samuel I. Golieb Fellowship in Legal History Fellow, 2005-2006

Harvard University
Visiting Professor of Law, August-December 2016
John Thornton Kirkland Fellowship, 2005–2006
Charles Warren Center Term-Time and Summer Fellowships, 2004-2005
Senior thesis advisor, Department of History, 2004-2005
Head teaching fellow, Department of History/Core Program, spring 2004

Harvard Law School
Mark DeWolfe Howe Fund Grant, 2004

Debevoise & Plimpton New York, NY
Associate, Litigation Department, summer 1998-2001 

National Endowment for the Humanities Washington, D.C.
Law Clerk, Office of the General Counsel, summer 1997

Books (Author)

  • The Ideological Origins of American Federalism (Harvard University Press, 2010).cu www

Books (Editor)

  • Fatal Fictions: Crime and Investigation in Law and Literature. (Oxford University Press, 2016) (edited with Martha Nussbaum & Richard H. McAdams).
  • Subversion and Sympathy: Gender, Law, and the British Novel. (Oxford University Press, 2013) (edited with Martha Nussbaum). cu

Journal Articles

  • "The Mood of the Cave: The Intellectual Legacy of Ideological Origins," 50 Eighteenth Century Studies 317 (2017).
  • "The Interbellum Constitution: Federalism in the Long Founding Moment," 67 Stanford Law Review 397 (2015). ssrn cu
  • "The Shadow Powers of Article I," 123 Yale Law Journal 2044 (2014). ssrn cu
  • Response, "Redeeming Bond?", 128 Harvard Law Review Forum 31 (2014). cu www
  • "The Constitution of the Second Generation," 2013 University of Illinois Law Review 1775 (2013). cu
  • "Historical Gloss: A Primer," 126 Harvard Law Review Forum 75 (2012). ssrn cu
  • "The Labor Theory of Empire (reviewing Craig Yirush, Settlers, Liberty, and Empire: The Roots of Early American Political Theory, 1675-1775 (2011))," 12 Common-Place 1675 (2012). cu www
  • "Federalists, Federalism, and Federal Jurisdiction," 30 Law and History Review 205 (2012). ssrn cu
  • "On Being 'Bound Thereby'," 27 Constitutional Commentary 507 (2011). ssrn cu
  • "Eavesdropping on the Vox Populi (reviewing Pauline Maier, Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 (2010) & Jack Rakove, Revolutionaries: A New History of The Invention of America (2010))," 47 Tulsa Law Review 99 (2011). ssrn cu
  • "Rhetoric and Reality in Early American Legal History: A Reply to Gordon Wood," 78 University of Chicago Law Review 733 (2011). cu
  • "What if Madison Had Won? Imagining a Constitutional World of Legislative Supremacy," 45 Indiana Law Review 41 (2011). ssrn cu www
  • "The Authority for Federalism: Madison's Negative and the Origins of Federal Ideology," 28 Law and History Review 451 (2010). cu www
  • "Temporal Imperialism," 158 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1329 (2010). ssrn cu
  • "The Founders' Fiction: Reading Eighteenth-Century Novels in Company with the American Revolutionaries," 3 Common-Place __ (2009). cu www
  • "Book Review (reviewing Stephen L. Elkin, Reconstructing the Commercial Republic: Constitutional Design after Madison (2006))," 26 Law and History Review 203 (2008). cu
  • "The New Wheel in the Federal Machine: From Sovereignty to Jurisdiction in the Early Republic," 2007 Supreme Court Review 345 (2007). ssrn cu
  • "A Singular and Awkward War: The Transatlantic Context of the Hartford Convention," 6 American Nineteenth Century History 3 (2005). ssrn cu
  • "'Bound Fast and Brought under the Yoke': John Adams and the Regulation of Privacy at the Founding," 72 Fordham Law Review 2331 (2004). ssrn cu
  • "To Gain the Whole World and Lose His Own Soul: Nineteenth-Century American Dueling as Public Law and Private Code," 33 Hofstra Law Review 501 (2004). ssrn cu

Book Sections

  • "Federalism," in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History., Jon Butler ed. 2016). cu www
  • "Continuity in Secession: The Case of the Confederate Constitution," in Neo-Nullification and Neo-Secessionism, Sanford Levinson ed. (University Press of Kansas, forthcoming 2016). ssrn
  • "A Man for All Treasons: Crimes by and Against the Tudor State in the Novels of Hilary Mantel," in Fatal Fictions: Crime in Law and Literature, Alison LaCroix, Martha Nussbaum & Richard H. McAdams eds. (Oxford University Press, 2016). ssrn cu
  • "Introduction," in Subversion and Sympathy: Gender, Law, and the British Novel, Martha Nussbaum & Alison LaCroix eds. (Oxford University Press, 2013) (with Martha Nussbaum). cu
  • "The Lawyer’s Library in the Early American Republic," in Subversion and Sympathy: Gender, Law, and the British Novel, Alison LaCroix & Martha Nussbaum eds. (Oxford University Press, 2013). ssrn cu
  • "Dartmouth College v. Woodward," in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States., David S. Tanenhaus ed. 2008). cu
  • "'Ogden v. Saunders'," in in "Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States"., David S. Tanenhaus ed. 2008). cu
  • "Drawing and Redrawing the Line: The Pre-Revolutionary Origins of Federal Ideas of Sovereignty," in Transformations in American legal history: essays in honor of professor Morton J. Horwitz (Harvard Law School, 2008). cu www

Working Papers

  • "A Man For All Treasons: Crimes By and Against the Tudor State in the Novels of Hilary Mantel," University of Chicago Public Law & Legal Theory Paper Series, No. 511 (2015). cu
  • "Continuity in Secession: The Case of the Confederate Constitution," University of Chicago Public Law & Legal Theory Paper Series, No. 512 (2015). ssrn cu

Other Publications

  • "The Rooms Where It Happened (reviewing Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton: An American Musical and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarte, Hamilton: The Revolution)," The New Rambler, May 23, 2016. www
  • "Our Interdisciplinary Legacy: The University Of Chicago At 125," University of Chicago Law School Record, April 2016 (with Martha Nussbaum & Omri Ben-Shahar).
  • "A Man For All Treasons (reviewing Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring up the Bodies (2012))," The New Rambler, April 1, 2015. www
  • "When Thirteen Clocks Were Made to Strike (Mostly) Together (reviewing Richard R. Beeman, Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776)," The New Rambler, October 19, 2015. www
  • "Why the Supreme Court Should Stop Fetishizing Dictionaries and Start Caring About Words," Balkinization, June 20, 2014 (with Jason Merchant). www
  • "The Shadow Powers of Article I," Balkinization, April 17, 2014. www
  • "Shooting Alone?: The Decline of the Civic Vision of the Second Amendment (reviewing Saul Cornell, A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America (2006))," H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences On-Line, 2007. www

Beyond Intuitions, Algorithms, and Dictionaries: Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretations, (with Jason Merchant), Neubauer Collegium Conference on Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation, May 2017

Commerce and Concurrent Power in Early-Nineteenth-Century Constitutional Debate, Harvard Law School Legal History Workshop, November 2016

“The Constitutional Construction of Commerce in the Early Nineteenth Century,” American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, October 2015

“On Historical Meaning in Law,” Franke Institute for the Humanities, October 2015 (with Jason Merchant)

University of Michigan Legal Theory Workshop, October 2014

“The Use and Abuse of Linguistics at the U.S. Supreme Court,” Humanities Day, University of Chicago, October 2014

Constitution Day Lecture, Northwestern University, October 2014

Harvard Law School Law and History Workshop, September 2014

Virginia Law Review Centennial Symposium, April 2014

Columbia Law School Public Law Workshop, April 2014

Constitutional Legal History Workshop at University of California-Berkeley School of Law, April 2014

Philip Pro Lecturer in Legal History, William S. Boyd School of Law, March 2014

Critical Analysis of Law Workshop at University of Toronto Faculty of Law, February 2014

University of Wisconsin Discussion Group on Constitutionalism, October 2013

“Charles Beard and the Origins of American Constitutionalism,” American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, November 2013 (commentator) 

Conference on Union and Disunion at Center for Renaissance Studies, September 2013

“Federalism as the New Nationalism,” Yale Law School Symposium, July 2013

Symposium on Akhil Amar, America’s Unwritten Constitution at University of Illinois College of Law, October 2012

“Federalism and the States,” National Conference of State Legislators Annual Legislative Summit, August 2012

Yale Law School Legal History Forum, April 2012

Stanford Law School Legal History Workshop, March 2012

Recent Books Seminar at Georgetown University Law Center, April 2011

What If: Constitutional Counterfactuals Symposium at Indiana University School of Law, April 2011

Federalism and Its Future Conference at University of Texas School of Law, February 2011

Year of the Book Symposium at University of Connecticut School of Law, December 2010 (commentator)

"The Origins of American Federalism," Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at University of Chicago, November 2010

Book panel on The Ideological Origins of American Federalism, Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston Colloge, October 2010

"Federalists, Federalism, and Federal Jurisdiction," George Washington University Law School Faculty Workshop, March 2011; University of Virginia School of Law Legal History Workshop, February 2011; Faculty Colloquium at University of Alabama Law School, February 2011; Public Law Workshop at Columbia Law School, October 2010; Legal History Workshop at University of Iowa College of Law, September 2010; Colloquium on Constitutional History, Theory, and Law at University of Illinois College of Law, September 2010; McNeil Center for Early American Studies at University of Pennsylvania, June 2010; University of Chicago Law School Faculty Workshop, March 2010; Vanderbilt Law School Federalism Roundtable, February 2010; American Bar Foundation/Illinois Legal History Seminar, February 2010; American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, November 2009; University of Wisconsin Discussion Group on Constitutionalism, October 2009; University of Michigan Law School Legal History Workshop, September 2009

"Temporal Imperialism," Chicago-Kent College of Law Faculty Workshop, September 2009; University of Chicago Law School Faculty Workshop, March 2009

"Slavery, Abolition, and Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Thirteenth Amendment," University of Chicago Law School, April 2009 (commentator)

"The Law of Nations and the Early Modern Atlantic World," Newberry Library, April 2009 (commentator)

“Time and the First Republic: Temporality in Constitutional Adjudication,” University of Chicago Law School Faculty Workshop, March 2009

"The Pre-Revolutionary Origins of Federal Ideas of Sovereignty," Conference in Honor of Morton J. Horowitz at Harvard Law School, September 2008.

"The New Wheel in the Federal Machine: From Sovereign to Jurisdiction in the Early Republic," University of Chicago Law School Faculty Workshop, April 2008; American Bar Foundation Research Seminar, January 2008

"A Positive Passion for the Public Good: Speech and Privacy in the Early American Republic," Columbia University Seminar on Eighteenth-Century European Culture, September 2007

"Theories of Union: Constructing Confederations, 1774–1777," Faculty Work-in-Progress Workshop at University of Chicago Law School, May 2007

"Drawing the Line: the Pre-Revolutionary Origins of Federal Ideas of Sovereignty," American Society for Legal History, November 2006

"Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation" (with Jason Merchant)

"A Man for All Treasons: Crimes By and Against the State in the Novels of Hilary Mantel"

The Interbellum Constitution (book manuscript)

"Ideas of Privacy in the Early American Republic"

MEMBERSHIPS AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American Society for Legal History
  • American Historical Association
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
  • Bar admissions, New York and United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • John Thornton Kirkland Fellowship, Harvard University (2005-2006)
  • Charles Warren Center Term-Time and Summer Fellowships (2004-2005)
  • Mark DeWolfe Howe Fund Grant, Harvard Law School (2004)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (2001-2002)

SERVICE

  • Council of the University Senate (2014-2017)
  • Chair, Law School Subcommittee on Methodological Diversity (2014-2015)
  • University of Chicago Women’s Leadership Council (2012-2015)
  • University Board of Student and Campus Life (2010-2013)
    Chair (2011-2013)
  • Faculty Appointments Committee (2007-2008)
  • Law School Committee on Lectures, Conferences, and Honors (2007-2008)

EDITORIAL WORK

  • Referee, Law and History Review; William and Mary Quarterly

EVENTS

  • Co-organizer, Public Law & Legal Theory Workshop (2009-present)
  • Co-organizer, Maurice and Muriel Fulton Lecture in Legal History (2007-present)
  • Co-organizer, Crime in American Law and Literature Conference (2014)
  • American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting Program Committee (2012-2013)
  • Co-organizer, Manhood in American Law and Literature Conference (2012)
  • Co-organizer, Gender, Law, and the British Novel Conference (2010)
  • Organizer, American Legal History Workshop (2008-2009)

OTHER ACTIVITIES

  • Speaker, University of Chicago Constitution Day (2006, 2012)
  • Panelist, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships Competition (2010)