William & Mary

Colbert Report to feature Law School's Allison Larsen

William & Mary Law Professor Allison Orr Larsen ‘99 will appear Monday, Oct. 6 on the late-night talk show The Colbert Report. Larsen will join the Colbert Nation in a discussion of the judicial decision making of the nation's highest court. The Colbert Report airs at 11:30 p.m. EST on Comedy Central.

Colbert logo“I am very flattered by the invitation and quite excited to appear on the show,” Larsen says.

Larsen is the author of The Trouble with Amicus Facts, which examines the facts cited by the justices in Supreme Court opinions. In her research, she found many examples of Supreme Court opinions that cite amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs as authorities for statements of fact, but Larsen challenges the assumption that these factual claims from amici are always helpful or reliable.

“[The Supreme Court] is inundated with 11th-hour, untested, advocacy-motivated claims of factual expertise,” she says in the article. Larsen suggests limits to the quantity and quality of factual information that comes from amicus briefs to the Court.

Her research was published in the Virginia Law Review and recently featured in the New York Times.

Allison Orr LarsenLarsen, who is also the author of Factual Precedents, Confronting Supreme Court Fact Finding, and Bargaining Inside the Black Box, teaches constitutional law, administrative law, and statutory interpretation. Her research examines the process and institutional dynamics of legal decision-making.

She received her undergraduate degree from William & Mary and her juris doctor from the University of Virginia. Following law school, Larsen clerked for Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Before joining the William & Mary faculty in 2010, she practiced law with the appellate litigation group at O’Melveny & Myers and was a visiting assistant professor at Catholic University.

She received The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s “Rising Star” Outstanding Faculty Award in 2014, the William & Mary Law School’s Walter Williams Jr. Memorial Teaching Award in 2013, and the William and Mary Alumni Fellowship Teaching Award in 2012.