Swethaa Ballakrishnen

Swethaa Ballakrishnen
Swethaa Ballakrishnen


Stanford University, Sociology PhD Candidate

Harvard Law School, LL.M
Inlaks Fellow (fully funded to study at HLS),
most prestigious Indian fellowship

National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, B.A., B.L (Hons.)
Amancharla Krishna Murti Memorial Gold Medal (Best Student Award)


I am a lawyer (NALSAR'04, HLS'08) currently pursuing a PhD in Sociology at Stanford University. Before embarking on this PhD, I spent five years as an international finance attorney, a law lecturer at a top Indian law school, a research fellow at Harvard Law and an intern at the Indian Supreme Court. At Stanford now, I study educational inequality, gender and stratification in the South Asian context. In particular, I am interested in researching higher education models in this region and the ways in which societies sort students to reproduce systemic structural and cultural hierarchies.

My goal as your tutor is to help you make the most of your own research and writing in Law or Sociology. My varied teaching experiences, especially here at Stanford (Controversies about Inequality, Fall 2010), suggest that undergraduates often "get" the concepts they are taught – but find it harder to piece them together to make the expected research contribution. My job is (a) to ensure you are "getting" the concepts, and (b) to help you write in a way that communicates your understanding to the reader.

I can offer special assistance for international students who come from an alternate system of education. As someone with early educational training from outside the U.S., I understand that cultural differences in pedagogy and language can often translate to awkward (and frustrating) composition. Do you feel like you spend hours more on your paper than most other people but don't get the same results? Does your English composition read just right to you – but unclear to others? Do you use long sentences that seem superfluous to everyone else but you? Then let me help you! More often than not, you are already well on your way to writing that A+ paper – I am here to make sure you don't fall short.

I can tutor students on conceptual understandings of sociological stratification as well as law and society theory and research. For editorial/review services, all students (college aspirants, undergraduates, graduate school aspirants, law school aspirants) are welcome.  I can help you with your sociology paper or graduate school admissions essays or even your application for competitive scholarships such as the Inlaks.  I know what it's like to compete at the highest levels for these awards and can steer you in the right direction so that you put your best food forward in your application materials.

Contact me if you think I might be a good fit and we can take it from there!


Sociology, Law


Sociology Theory

Social Stratification

Law and Sociology

South Asian Studies

Research/Writing Review

College/Graduate School Application Review

Conceptual Overview


A.       Presentations

"Putting India back into the study of the Indian LPO Industry"; Stanford international legal Ethics Conference IV, July 2010, Stanford, California

"The Legal Process of Outsourcing and the emergence of the global Indian lawyer"; Law and Development Roundtable, March 2010, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"The PLP Indian LPO Study: Preliminary Findings"; HLS-Said-Jindal Conferece on the Globalization of Professional Services Firms, Sep 2009, Oxford

"East is East and West is West: A preliminary framework for understanding the liberalization prospects of the Indian Legal Market"; HLS-Said Business School Conference on the Globalization of the Legal Profession, July 2009, Cambridge MA

"I'm calling my lawyer (in India!)": Legal Process Outsourcing and the layered liberalization of the Indian legal profession, Law and Society Annual Conference, May 2009, Denver
(Read the Abstract)

Where did we come from? Where do we go?: an enquiry into the pedagogy and systems of legal education in India, Biennial Conference of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association, April 2009, City University of Hong Kong (More Information)

Culture Wars: Perspectives on Doing Business in India, March 5, 2009
University of Wisconsin at Whitewater

Oregon Judicial Panel and International Perspectives (with Justice Paul J. De Muniz, Judge Darleen Ortega and Judge Marco Hernandez), February 12, 2009
Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon

Law and Social Sciences Research Network Inaugural Conference, Conference Participant, January 2009, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (More Information)

Globalization and its Impact on Legal Education and the Legal Profession, Round Table Discussion Participant, January 2009, Jindal Global Law School, New Delhi

"Law Schools as independent actors in legal systems", Law and Development Roundtables: Working Group Member & Panelist, December 2008, University of Wisconsin-Madison (More Information)

Hari and Kumar go to HLS: The South Asian Graduate Experience at Harvard Law School; December 4, 2008, University of Wisconsin Madison
(More Information)

B.           Publications

"Where did we come from? Where do we go? : An enquiry into the students and systems of legal education in India" – JOURNAL OF COMMONWEALTH LAW AND LEGAL EDUCATION, Spring 2010

"International Commercial Arbitration in India" – 2003 DLT 72

"Rights against the guarantor during insolvency proceedings" 2005 (1) NSLR 51

"Hari and Kumar go to HLS – A study of the South Asians at Harvard Law School" Final Thesis

C.           Activities

Teach For India – Head Campus Advisor, Stanford University; U.S. (West, Central), 2010-2011

The Indian Journal of Law and Economics – Consulting Editor, 2009 –

Researcher, Financial regulation in the global economy, HLS International Finance Concentration group, 2007-08

Board Member, Harvard SALSA (South Asian Law Students Association), 2007-08

Founder and Chief Editor, NALSAR Law Times, law school newspaper, 2005-07

Student Member, ILO Committee for Child Labor legislation, Andhra Pradesh, 2004

Admitted to the Legal Bar in India ('04) and the State of New York ('08)

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