John Bliss is a visiting 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sida Liu is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto and a faculty fellow at the American Bar Foundation. 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.
Pavan Mamidi is the principal investigator for law, sociology, and management and the director of international research collaborations for the Centre for Experimental Social Sciences (CESS) Nuffield – FLAME University. CESS Nuffield – FLAME University is a collaboration between FLAME University and Nuffield College in the University of Oxford. Pavan is interested in investigating social norms, trust, pro-social behavior and behavioral ethics using laboratory experiments.
Previously, Pavan was a faculty member at IIM-Ahmedabad in the Business Policy area, where he taught courses on empirical research methods in the doctoral program, and negotiations and dispute resolution in several public policy programs for the government. He has also taught in policy programs for senior government officers, including IPS at the National Police Academy and IAS at LBSNAA in Mussoorie. He has held positions at IIM Bangalore, MIT (Sloan), the University of Michigan Law School, and Harvard Law School where he is an affiliated faculty at the Center on the Legal Profession.
Pavan has an LL.M. from Harvard Law School and a D. Phil in Sociology from the University of Oxford.
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).
Lionel Paolella is an assistant professor 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. Click here for more details.
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:
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.
Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen is a socio-legal scholar whose research examines the intersections between law, globalization, and social stratification. 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 profession. A third emerging field of interest focuses on transnational migration and its implications for intergenerational mobility, international human rights, and transnational family law. Their research has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including Law and Social Inquiry, International Journal of the Legal Profession, Sociological Perspectives, Canadian Review of Sociology, and Fordham Law Review. Ballakrishnen has a a doctorate in sociology from Stanford University, and law degrees from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (Hyderabad) and Harvard Law School.
Mihaela Papa is a Globalization, Lawyers and Emerging Economies (GLEE) fellow at the Center on the Legal Profession. She joined the program to spearhead the development of the GLEE project and conduct research on the project. She has a Ph.D. in International Relations and a M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Her academic focus has been on contemporary challenges of global governance including the rise of emerging economies and participation in international institutions. Mihaela’s dissertation examined forum shopping as a form of disengagement from international institutions and the mechanisms through which it threatens institutional authority. Her GLEE research investigates how various globalization processes impact the legal profession in emerging economies, and how legal professionals from these countries participate in, and seek to reform, international legal institutions (e.g., ongoing investment arbitration research in India). Mihaela recently spent six months at the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University in China and has been developing a study of BRICS’ policy convergence in the legal field and prospects for legal cooperation. In addition to her GLEE work, Mihaela has published extensively in the field of sustainable development governance in journals including Global Environmental Change and Climate Policy. She also taught courses on global governance, international organizations and diplomacy at the Boston University, Tufts University and the University of Geneva, consulted for the International Institute for Sustainable Development and worked in foreign policy practice at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia.
Nick Robinson is a lecturer and fellow at Yale Law School. Previously he was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. Before joining the Center, Nick spent seven years in South Asia, where he clerked for the Chief Justice of the Indian Supreme Court, taught at National Law School Bangalore, Jindal Global Law School, and Lahore University of Management Sciences, and was a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.
Nick’s writing has focused on the judiciary, the legal profession, and public law in South Asia, as well as on occupational licensing, non-lawyer ownership of legal services, and the declining dominance of lawyers in politics in the United States. Nick has a B.A. from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Romeen Sheth is an associate at McKinsey & Company. Previously he led strategy & business intelligence at Ravel, a venture-backed startup in Silicon Valley focused on applying data visualization and analytics to the legal industry. In addition to serving as an Affiliated Fellow at the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession, Romeen sits on the Advisory Board of the Harvard Association for Law and Business (HALB), one of the largest student-run organizations at Harvard Law School.
Romeen graduated from Harvard Law School, where he was co-president of the Harvard Association for Law and Business (HALB) and spent time on the mergers & acquisitions team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in their London and New York offices. Romeen has been featured by the Financial Times for his work on legal innovation and has published an article with the Harvard Center on the Legal Profession. Romeen received his B.A. in Philosophy and Certificate in Markets & Management studies from Duke University.
Fabio de Sa e Silva is 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.