Swethaa Ballakrishnen is an Assistant Professor of Law (and, by courtesy, of Sociology, Asian American Studies, and Criminology, Law and Society) at the University of California, Irvine. Primarily oriented within a critical socio-legal praxis, they write, think, and teach about law's connection to actors/institutions/relationships at the periphery, usually around identities/queers/souths.
Their work has appeared in, among other journals, the Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, International Journal of the Legal Profession, and the Canadian Review of Sociology. Their first book, Accidental Feminism, explores the case of unintended gender parity in the Indian legal profession (Princeton University Press, 2021). Other book projects focus on collaborative legal globalization (Invisible Institutionalisms, ed. w/Sara Dezalay), gendered inheritances of constitutional privacy (Gender Regimes w/Kalpana Kannabiran), and inequ(al)ities in legal education (ed. w/Bryant Garth).
Their service commitments extend these teaching and research interests. They currently serve as an elected trustee/executive council member on the boards of the Law and Society Association, ASA Section on Sociology of Law, ISA’s Research Committee on Sociology of Law, and AALS Section on Empirical Study of Legal Education/Profession. At UCI, they co-run a center on the legal profession, a critical interdisciplinary graduate emphasis and a workshop on socio-legal studies.
Swethaa holds law degrees from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (India) and Harvard Law School, and a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University (2015).