Marie-Lou Laprise

Marie-Lou Laprise

Lawyer, legal scholar, and social scientist

PhD student, Princeton University


I am a PhD student in sociology at Princeton University, where I focus on the socio-legal study of corporate behavior, relations of debt and credit, and the information economy. I am also a lawyer in Quebec (Canada), where I practiced in civil and commercial litigation for five years. My research combines quantitative and computational methods with interviews and doctrinal analyses to investigate how legal infrastructures construct the economy and to understand the social consequences they generate.

  • How can we remedy the great asymmetries of power of today’s digital economy? How can we achieve a more collaborative ordering of data as a collective resource? Can reforming the legal infrastructure of the digital economy help to reduce social inequality and disinformation and to sustain participatory democracy?
  • These are urgent questions. Answering them requires casting light on the inner workings of the beating heart of the digital economy: the data industry.
  • My dissertation looks at the firms, lawyers, engineers, and data scientists involved in the global data industry. It examines how they create and manage markets of data and predictions, what law and technology they rely on, how they combine relational, legal, and algorithmic work to control flows of information, and what meaning they give to their activities.

I am also a co-PI at Princeton’s Debt Collection Lab, where I study debt collection lawsuits and inequality in the United States and help make data about private debt collectors accessible to the greater public, and a co-founder of the Princeton chapter of the Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project.

Before coming to Princeton, I was at the Faculty of Law of the University of Montreal, where I studied the interaction of codified law and moral considerations in judges' reasoning, its relation to socioeconomic history, and its impacts on substantive law. My thesis, which combined comparative-historical and doctrinal analyses to theorize judicially created barriers to legal action in Quebec, has won the 2022 excellence prize of the Quebec Association of Law Professors.

  • Contracts, corporate law, and information technology law
  • Organizational behavior
  • Computational social science and network analysis
  • Ph.D. in progress, 2020-...

    Princeton University

  • LL.M. (comparative law, with thesis), 2021

    University of Montreal

  • LL.B. (civil law), 2013

    University of Sherbrooke