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In the past, Dr. Ballakrishnen's research has scrutinized the socio-legal implications of new and emerging models of legal education and work in India from a domestic supply perspective. These findings have been published in the Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education, Fordham Law Review and the International Journal of the Legal Profession.
In her NSF-funded doctoral dissertation at Stanford University's Department of Sociology (2015), "Same Same But Different: Unintended Parity and Accidental Feminism in India's Professional Service Firms" (15), she explored the dynamic relationship between new and global organizations and the gendered understandings of work in India's elite professional service firms. A wide and diverse audience has supported and generously funded this research including the National Science Foundation, Stanford Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Harvard Institute of Global Law and Policy, Stanford Graduate Research Office, Stanford Center for South Asia, Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law and the Law and Society Association. In 2015, this dissertation won the Marjorie Lazoff Graduate Prize (a University-wide award for graduate research on gender awarded by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research) as well as the Barbara and Sandy Dornbusch Award (a Stanford division award for doctoral students). Findings from this work have been published in the Journal of Professions and Organization, the Harvard Globalization, Lawyers and Emerging Economies (GLEE) book on the globalizing Indian legal profession, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, and the American Bar Association's India Law News. At NYUAD now, this project is being transformed into a book manuscript (currently under contract with Princeton University Press).
Ballakrishnen’s current projects include a REALM funded project on families of migrant laborers in Kerala, India (with Hannah Brückner); a research project on the implications of India’s new privacy judgment on the country’s gender and sexuality rights; a cross-national comparative project about women in corporate leadership (using data from India, Africa and the Middle East); and a project on community gender education in corporate workspaces with colleagues at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford.