Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine

Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California-Irvine 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 BA, BL (Hons) from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research.



Anurag Bhaskar Senior Research Associate/Faculty, Jindal Global Law School

Anurag Bhaskar teaches at Jindal Global Law School (Sonipat, India), and is an Affiliated Faculty of the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. He is also a Visiting Faculty at Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (New Delhi, India). Anurag holds an LLM (2018-19) from Harvard Law School, and B.A. LL.B. (2012-17) degree from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University (Lucknow, India). His areas of interests cover constitutional law and theory, political science, legal profession and education, ethics, social justice, diversity, intersectionality, human rights, among others.Before pursuing his LLM, Anurag clerked for an year (July 2017-18) with Dr. Justice DY Chandrachud (Judge, Supreme Court of India), where he worked on a number of landmark constitutional law cases. He interned with five judges of Allahabad High Court (Uttar Pradesh, India) during his undergraduate legal education. He has also assisted statutory commissions, government departments and non-governmental organisations in Uttar Pradesh in a couple of research projects.

Anurag has several publications to his credit in India’s leading academic journal, Economic & Political Weekly, and has contributed chapters to a number of edited books. His columns on different themes are regularly published in The Print, Live Law, The Wire, Hindustan Times, etc. He also serves as a Contributing Editor at Live Law — India’s leading legal news web-portal.

Anurag taught a course on law and social movements at National Law University, Delhi in Fall 2019, and has been an invited speaker at Harvard Kennedy School, IIT Gandhinagar, and other platforms.


John Bliss Assistant Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

John Bliss is an assistant professor of law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. His research examines the intersection between lawyers’ conceptions of professional identity and public contributions in a changing profession. Drawing on diverse methods and theoretical perspectives from law, sociology of professions, and social psychology, his work provides empirical insights into lawyers’ efforts to pursue the professional role as a calling with personal and civic significance. His recent and ongoing projects focus on the socialization of young lawyers-in-training in the U.S. and China, pro bono practice in leading law firms, and conceptions of property rights and legal professionalism in the racially restrictive covenant cases.

John holds a double B.A. in anthropology and comparative history of ideas from the University of Washington (2004), a J.D. from Berkeley Law (2010), and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program (2016). His work appears or is forthcoming in Law & Social Inquiry, UC Davis Law Review, and edited volumes on global pro bono and the emerging Chinese bar.



Michele DeStefano Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Michele DeStefano is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami and the Founder and Director of LawWithoutWalls, a multi-disciplinary, international think-tank of over 750 lawyers, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and law and business students that collaborate to solve problems and create innovations at the intersection of law, business, and technology. She is also the co-founder and co-editor of the Compliance Elliance Journal, an open access e-journal that publishes engaging authors’ works about cutting edge issues in compliance and ethics. In 2015-2016, she will be a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School and visiting faculty lead of Harvard’s Center on the Legal Profession.

Recently recognized by the ABA as a Legal Rebel, she is an expert in entrepreneurship and innovation in the law. Her scholarship focuses on the growing intersections between law and business and legal innovation. Through qualitative interviews of general counsels and other professional service providers, Michele’s research investigates the impact changes in the law and business marketplace (including litigation funding, social media, public relations, regulation) will have on the legal profession and its potential for innovation. Her latest project includes over seventy interviews of general counsels and chief compliance officers of large, publicly traded corporations to analyze and assess the changing role of compliance and ethics.

In addition to spearheading LawWithoutWalls, Michele presents regularly on Innovation, Teaming, Collaboration, Compliance and Ethics, Technology and Education, and Litigation Funding. She teaches courses on the changing legal profession, law, technology, and innovation, civil procedure, professional responsibility, and compliance and ethics. She is also Guest Faculty in Harvard Law School’s Executive Education program and Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Law School’s Center for the Legal Profession.

From 2003 to 2004, Michele clerked for Chief Judge William G. Young of the Federal District Court of Massachusetts. She also worked for a year as a Special Master on a patent law case. Before attending law school, she was a Senior Marketing Manager at Levi Strauss & Company (1995-1998) and an Account Executive at Leo Burnett Advertising Company (1991-1995). Michele earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and has been admitted to the Massachusetts, Minnesota, and District of Columbia bars.


University of Miami School of Law
1311 Miller Drive, Room G284
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Ronit Dinovitzer Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto

Ronit Dinovitzer is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, where she is cross appointed to the Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI). She is also a faculty fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, where she is co-director of the Research Group on Legal Diversity. She has served as a visiting professor of law at Georgetown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ronit recently delivered the Annual Lecture on the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law, focusing on issues of diversity and inequality in the legal profession. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto. Ronit is a sociologist of the professions. Through her research on the legal profession, Ronit draws together analyses of the professions with research in social policy, including the social organization of lawyers, the role of labor markets, and the effects of culture on professional work. She has pursued this work through her involvement with the After the JD project, the first national longitudinal study of law graduates in the US, and the Law and Beyond Study, the first national study of law graduates in Canada. Ronit’s work also attends to the role of ethics within professional practice. In current research, she is studying the role of ethical decision-making and professional autonomy, through a qualitative project on the ways in which corporate lawyers interact with their clients.


University of Toronto
Department of Sociology
725 Spadina Ave,
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2J4, Canada

Vikramaditya S. Khanna William W. Cook Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School

Vikramaditya Khanna, the William W. Cook Professor of Law at Michigan Law School, is faculty director of the Directors’ College for Global Business and Law and co-director of the Joint Centre for Global Corporate and Financial Law & Policy, a collaboration between Michigan Law and India’s Jindal Global Law School.

He earned his S.J.D. at Harvard Law School, where he has been a visiting faculty member. He served as a senior research fellow at Columbia Law School and Yale Law School, and as a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School. He was a recipient of the John M. Olin Faculty Fellowship in 2002–2003. His interest areas include corporate and securities law, corporate crime, law in India, corporate governance in emerging markets, and law and economics. He is the founding and current editor of both the India Law Abstracts and the White Collar Crime Abstracts on the Social Science Research Network and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and his papers have been published in the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Supreme Court Economic Review, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, and the Georgetown Law Journal. News publications in the United States, India, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have quoted him. He has given talks at Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, and Yale universities; the University of California, Berkeley; and the Wharton School, as well as to the National Bureau of Economic Research and the American Law and Economics Association. He has presented in the United States, India, China, Turkey, Brazil, and Greece.


Univeristy of Michigan Law School
625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Young-Kyu Kim Assistant Professor of Management, Korea University Business School

Young-Kyu Kim is an assistant professor of management at Korea University Business School. From 2008 to 2010, he was with the Program on the Legal Profession as a postdoctoral research fellow. During his fellowship, he primarily worked on the Corporate Purchasing Project.

His exhaustive analysis on the project allowed the program to build extensive knowledge on how companies enter, manage, and terminate relationships with external counsel. In addition, he studied the issues of lateral moves and a law firm’s commitment to diversity and presented research outcomes in leading conferences. Young-Kyu received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2008. In his doctoral work, Young-Kyu examined the issue of social status and organizational identity in various empirical settings, such as the venture capital industry and legal/financial advisory services in the mergers and acquisitions markets. His research interests include social networks, organizational status and identity, and social mobility of individuals and firms. Currently, he looks into the legal education reform in Korea, based on his past experience on various legislative reform projects in Korean public sectors, and plans a career study of Korean law school graduates.

Korea University Business School
Anam-dong 5-ga, Seongbuk-gu
Seoul, 136-701, Korea

Sida Liu Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto

Sida Liu is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, a faculty fellow at the American Bar Foundation, and an affiliated scholar of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at New York University School of Law.  Before joining the University of Toronto in 2016, he taught sociology and law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  In 2016-2017, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.  Sida received his LL.B. degree from Peking University Law School and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.


Sida has conducted extensive empirical research on the legal profession in China, including the globalization of corporate law firms, the political mobilization of criminal defense lawyers, the feminization of judges, and the career mobility of law practitioners.  He is the author of many academic articles and three books, most recently, Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work (with Terence C. Halliday, Cambridge University Press, 2016).  Since 2011, Sida has been a core member of the Center on the Legal Profession’s Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies (GLEE) Project and led the GLEE China research team with David B. Wilkins.



Ralph Madlalate Affiliate and Former Resident Research Fellow

Ralph Madlalate Affiliate and Former Resident Research Fellow

Ralph Madlalate is currently a PhD student at Berkeley Law School’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program. He was previously a research fellow at the Center on the Legal Profession (CLP) at Harvard Law School. Prior to joining CLP, Ralph worked at the Legal Resources Centre, a public interest law clinic in Johannesburg South Africa. In legal practice he focused on strategic litigation around socio-economic rights, constitutional and international human rights law for vulnerable and marginalized communities in South Africa and the southern African region. Previously Ralph served as a Research and Teaching Associate in the school of law at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he supported the school’s academic programs and pursued his own research.

Ralph graduated with an LL.M. with a specialization in public interest law and policy from University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) prior to that he earned his LL.B. from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and thereafter earned an LL.M. in human rights advocacy and litigation (cum laude) from the same university.


Robert L. Nelson Professor of Sociology & Law, Northwestern University; Director and MacCrate Research Chair in the Legal Profession – American Bar Foundation

Robert L. Nelson is the director of the American Bar Foundation, the MacCrate Research Chair in the Legal Profession at the ABF, and professor of sociology and law at Northwestern University. He holds a J.D. and Ph.D. in sociology, both from Northwestern, and has held several positions of academic leadership throughout his career.

He is a leading scholar in the fields of the legal profession and discrimination law. He has authored or edited 6 books and numerous articles, including Legalizing Gender Inequality, which won the prize for best book in sociology in 2001. His most recent book is Urban Lawyers: The New Social Structure of the Bar, co-authored with John Heinz, Edward Laumann, and Rebecca Sandefur, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2005.

His current research includes After the JD, a national study of the careers of lawyers, which is tracking the entering bar class of 2000 for the first 10 years of their careers (with several collaborators), and the Changing Dynamics of Employment Discrimination project, which examines a large national sample of federal court filings between 1988 to 2003 and has interviewed parties and their lawyers about their experiences in these cases (with Laura Beth Nielsen and Ryon Lancaster).


American Bar Foundation
750 N. Lakeshore Drive, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Lionel Paolella Assistant Professor, University of Cambridge - Judge Business School

Lionel Paolella is a university lecturer at Cambridge University Judge Business School. He received a Ph.D. in Strategy at HEC Paris in 2014. He graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (ENS) in France, after which he earned a M.A. in Sociology at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and a M.S. in Management and Organization Science (University Paris X).

Before joining Cambridge University, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago (Booth Graduate School of Business) in 2011, and from September 2012 to December 2013, he was a Chazen visiting scholar at Columbia University (Graduate School of Business) where he has carried out a significant part of his graduate research. His research lies at the intersection of economic sociology, organization theory and legal studies. He examines how market categories – clusters that share cognitive and cultural similarities – affect social evaluation and performance of organizations, specifically in the international legal services market. In his Ph.D. dissertation, he studied the corporate legal services market in three major financial locations (New York City, Paris, and London) over a decade (2000-2010). His findings are twofold: (i) multi-category law firms – those that are engaged in several practice areas of law – receive better social evaluation from clients both at the firm level and at the practice area level; (ii) disagreement among clients’ evaluation about law firms’ practice areas undermines their financial performance.

At Cambridge University, he teaches the Strategy and Advanced Strategy courses in the MBA curriculum, and he is also involved in Executive Education Programs on Professional Service Firms.


+44 (0) 1223 768388 / +44 (0) 7539 914127
Cambridge Judge Business School
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Galit A. Sarfaty Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Global Economic Governance, University of British Columbia

Galit A. Sarfaty holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Economic Governance and is an associate professor with tenure at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, and an A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard University. She previously served as an assistant professor in the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her position at Wharton, Professor Sarfaty was a Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Program on the Legal Profession and Human Rights Program, a Graduate Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Ethics, and a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her writing is informed by her work experience in a number of organizations, including the World Bank, the International Labor Organization, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the Indian Law Resource Center.

Professor Sarfaty’s research bridges public and private international law and has focused on the convergence of economic globalization with human rights, particularly labour rights. Her anthropological background has given her unique insights into the ways in which international law operates in practice, including the decision-making process within international institutions, the diffusion of international legal norms to the domestic and local levels, and the regulation of transnational economic activity. Her research has focused on such major international economic organizations as the World Bank, which was the subject of her book entitled Values in Translation: Human Rights and the Culture of the World Bank (Stanford University Press, 2012)Her earlier article on the World Bank was the winner of the 2010 Francis Deák Prize, awarded to a younger author for meritorious scholarship published in the American Journal of International Law. In addition, her article, “Regulating Through Numbers: A Case Study of Corporate Sustainability Reporting,” in the Virginia Journal of International Law was selected for presentation at the 2012 Stanford-Yale-Harvard Law Schools Junior Faculty Forum. Professor Sarfaty’s most recent research on the regulation of global supply chains and labour rights was published in the Harvard International Law Journal and the Stanford Journal of International Law.

For a summary of Professor Sarfaty’s research, you can watch the following short video produced by Research2Reality:


Faculty of Law at Allard Hall
The University of British Columbia
1822 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

Ann Southworth Professor of Law; Co-Director, Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession; UCI

Ann Southworth is a professor of law and the co-director of the Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession at the UC Irvine School of Law.

Professor Southworth teaches and writes on the legal profession and lawyers who serve causes, with an emphasis on lawyers’ norms, professional identities, practices, organizations, and networks.  She participated in designing UC Irvine School of Law’s required first year course on the American legal profession, and is the co-author, with Catherine Fisk, of an interdisciplinary textbook, The Legal Profession.  She has published numerous articles on civil rights and poverty lawyers, lawyers involved in national policy-making, and advocates for conservative and libertarian causes, as well as a book on the conservative legal movement, Lawyers of the Right: Professionalizing the Conservative Coalition.  Her current research interests include the discourse, resources, strategies and networks of public interest law organizations and their lawyers. Most recently, she is studying lawyers and organizations involved in campaign finance litigation in the Roberts Court.

Prior to joining the founding faculty at UC Irvine School of Law, she was a law professor at Case Western Reserve and an affiliated scholar at the American Bar Foundation.  She has been a visiting professor at Harvard and UCLA. She clerked for Judge Stanley A. Weigel and practiced at Morrison & Foerster, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the U.S. Department of Justice.  She received her B.A. and J.D. degrees from Stanford University.


University of California Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, 3500-A
Irvine, CA 92697-8000

Fabio De Sa e Silva Assistant Professor of International Studies and Wick Cary Professor of Brazilian Studies, University of Oklahoma

Fabio de Sa e Silva an assistant professor of international studies and Wick Cary Professor of Brazilian Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining OU, he was a research and planning specialist at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea), a major think-tank in Brazil, where he has also served as the chair for studies on State and Democracy and the President’s Chief of Staff. Before joining Ipea, Fabio was involved in several projects on justice and security reform in Brazil with focus on promoting access to justice and improving the criminal justice system.

Fabio holds a law degree from the University of São Paulo School of Law (USP ’02), a Master of Laws from the University of Brasilia School of Law (UnB ’07), and a Ph.D. in Law and Public Policy from Northeastern University (Boston, MA). In the last years, he was a recipient of several fellowships and grants from institutions such as the CAPES Foundation, Northeastern University, and the Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law. Fabio studies the social organization of law and lawyering in a variety of institutional settings relevant to policy making and development in contemporary Brazil and Latin America, such as “public interest” organizations, legal reforms and “rule of law” campaigns, corporate law firms, and government lawyers’ offices, topics in he has taught and published extensively. At HLS, Fabio is a researcher in the Globalization, Lawyering, and Emerging Economies project and a fellow at the Center on the Legal Profession.