Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI) and Steering Committee Member and Faculty Affiliate at the Center in Law, Society & Culture.
Ballakrishnen is a socio-legal scholar whose research examines the intersections between law, globalization and stratification from a critical feminist perspective. Particularly, across a range of sites and different levels of analysis, their work interrogates how law and legal institutions create, continue, and counter different kinds of socio-economic inequalities. Together, these motivations have resulted in three main areas of empirical inquiry. The first is a set of interrelated projects that analyze gender inequality and representation through the lens of comparative legal institutions. The second concentrates on inclusivity in global legal education and the resultant implications for organizational diversity within the legal profession. A third emerging field of interest focuses on transnational migration and its implications for intergenerational mobility, international human rights, and transnational family law.
Scholarship from these projects has appeared (or is forthcoming) in, among other journals, Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, Fordham Law Review, International Journal of the Legal Profession, and the Journal of Professions and Organization. Alongside this scholarly output, Professor Ballakrishnen’s research has been featured in a range of professional and popular media including Harvard Business Review, Stanford News Report, Above the Law, Bloomberg Law, Quartz, Law School Transparency Radio, The Practice, and WPR. They have presented research at over 50 conferences worldwide, delivered over 25 invited talks in a range of academic and professional settings, and their legal opinions on family and financial laws have been cited by the Probate and Family Court of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit respectively.
In addition to their position at NYU Abu Dhabi, Professor Ballakrishnen is an affiliated fellow at the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession, a co-founder of the Law and Society Collaborative Research Network on Legal Education, and a board member of the ISA Research Committee on Sociology of Law. In 2017-18, they were the AccessLex Visiting Scholar on Legal Education at the American Bar Foundation. For over a decade before entering academia full-time, Professor Ballakrishnen was a legal intern to Hon’ble Justice Arijit Pasayat of the Supreme Court of India, an international banking associate in Mumbai, and an external consultant for cross-border litigation financing in New York City.
Professor Ballakrishnen holds a PhD from Stanford University (Sociology), a LL.M from Harvard Law School, and a BA, BL (Hons) from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research.
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