Lorianne Updike Toler
Lorianne Updike Toler is a constitutional legal historian based in New Hampshire and visiting at Yale Law as a fellow with the Information Society Project. As a specialist in historical and contemporary comparative constitution-building processes, she is the "founding mother" to ConSource.org in Washington, DC and the "midwife" to the Quill Project at Oxford, UK. She has advised iNGOs and state and civil society leaders with a focus in the United States, the MENA region and Central and Eastern Europe.
Mrs. Toler began her education at Brigham Young University where she received a BA in communications in 2000, and a JD, magna cum laude, from their J. Reuben Clark Law School in 2005. Mrs. Toler served as an adjunct professor at BYU where she designed and taught communications courses on Constitutional and Intellectual Property Law. During law school, Mrs. Toler spent a summer with Hunt & Hunt in Sydney, Australia, and a summer with Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, DC.
In 2005, during her last semester of law school, Mrs. Toler co-founded the first comprehensive free online library of constitutional sources, The Constitutional Sources Project (www.ConSource.org), in Washington, D.C. As founding president, Mrs. Toler raised over $2.5 million, attracted nearly 1.4 million unique users, and personally directed 13 events for audiences of 20-300 composed of sixth graders, West Point cadets, senators, congressmen, Supreme Court justices and historians. She also oversaw development for primary, secondary, and undergraduate curricula based on ConSource.org documents, taught across the U.S. Mrs. Toler established SCOTUSource in 2010, a related ConSource.org program designed more specifically for Harvard Law students who, alongside appellate attorneys, identify primary sources related to upcoming Supreme Court cases. Mrs. Toler served on The Constitutional Sources Project's Board of Directors from 2012-2015.
In 2010, Mrs. Toler earned a Masters of Studies in History from The University of Oxford. From 2011-2013, Mrs. Toler pursued doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation topic comparing constitutional creation procedures of five American states between 1773-1780 with constitutional creation in France, Poland, and Norway between 1791-1814. Mrs. Toler withdrew to pursue motherhood and her consulting practice and plans to finish her doctoral studies at a later date, whether at Penn or elsewhere.
In 2012, Mrs. Toler founded Libertas Constitutional Consulting in London. She has worked in Europe, the United States and the MENA region (with a special focus on Libya), consulting members of parliament, executive branch personnel, iNGOs, legal advocates and civil-society leadership in comparative constitutional models and constitution-writing processes. In the United States, she has advised leading advocates, helping them use better history in constitutional argumentation. She advised Jones Day in their representation of Noel Canning in the NLRB v. Canning Supreme Court case, and has provided similar historical work for DC v. Heller and Dodd-Frank while heading ConSource.
Between 2014-September 2017, Mrs. Toler helped Nicholas Cole to found the Quill Project, a constitutional negotiation platform based at Pembroke College, Oxford. She provided strategic advice, editorial direction, and fundraised for the project, resulting in $675,000 raised and that much and more committed to the project. In September 2017, she helped introduce Quill to France with an academic conference at the Palace of Versailles and a donor tour in Bordeaux, Versailles, and Paris.
Mrs. Toler has spoken at various ivy league universities and their law schools, the United States Supreme Court, both houses of the U.S. Congress, and various state and non profit venues and is a frequent guest on radio stations. Mrs. Toler has also written extensively in the realm of Constitutional Law, authoring several articles for law and history journals and research institutes, an editorial series on constitution-writing for the Libya Herald, and a personal and spiritual memoir called “The Other Side of Charity.” She has also authored a chapter in "Comparative Constitution Making" with Edward Elgar publishing, forthcoming Winter/Spring 2019.
Mrs. Toler is a native of Provo, Utah. By way of Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Oxford, London, and New Hampshire, she currently lives in Connecticut with her family, including three young children.