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Photo courtesy of University of Utah.

Erika George, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah

George is a Professor of Law, and the Co-Director for the Center for Global Justice, at the University of Utah, College Of Law. Professor George earned a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served as Articles Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She also holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago. Her research interests include globalization and the indivisible, interdependent, and interrlated nature of civil liberties and socioeconomic rights; cultural pluralism and rights universalism; gender violence and gender equality; justice and peace promotion in post-conflict societies; environmental justice; and the use of documentary film in human rights advocacy and education. Her current research explores the responsibility of transnational corporations to respect international human rights and various efforts to hold business enterprises accountable for alleged abuses. Erika George can be reached at

Photo courtesy of Brown University.

Kevin Escudero, Postdoctoral Fellow, American Sudies, Brown University

Escudero is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies and in July 2017 will begin his appointment as Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University. He received his Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and M.S.L. from Yale Law School. His research broadly focuses on the areas of legal mobilization, critical race/ethnic studies and social movements. His book manuscript, Organizing While Undocumented, is a multi-sited ethnography of undocumented immigrant youth activism in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. Kevin Escudero can be reached at

Photo courtesy of North Central College

Alyx Mark, North Central College, Naperville, IL

Mark holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from George Washington University.  Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at North Central College in Naperville, IL where she teaches in the areas of legal studies, American politics, and public law.  Her research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, focuses on how and why legal institutions evolve and how institutional design affects the legal profession’s approaches to questions of inequality. Visit her personal website at Alyx Mark can be reached at

Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison

Robert Vargas, University of Notre Dame

Vargas is a political and urban sociologist.  He is interested in how politics, bureaucracies, and policies, shape the conditions of cities. His research has focused predominantly on urban violence and health care. In his book, Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio, Vargas describes how violence persists on a handful of blocks within areas gerrymandered by the Chicago city council. The book brings a political framework for understanding the geographic concentration of violence in urban areas. His current project is examining the reasons why uninsured Chicagoans are enrolling (or refusing to enroll) in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. He is involved in a number of small side projects on police notification and community organization involvement among Latino Youth, as well as growth in city and suburban police expenditures.  Robert Vargas can be reached at 

Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen, Postdoctoral Associate,  Social Research and Public Policy, New York University Abu Dhabi

Ballakrishnen’s research agenda focusses on the intersections between structural inequality, law and the cultural underpinnings of globalization in emerging economies. In the past, she has explored these themes using the empirical cases of international legal education, legal process outsourcing and professional service firms in India. Her current socio-legal projects include a comparative project about women in corporate leadership across Asia, Africa and the Middle East; a project on the history of the Indian legal profession and a collaborative project with Carole Silver on the cultural assimilation processes of international law students in American law schools. Ballakrishnen is a graduate and affiliate research fellow at the Harvard Law School and the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University in 2015. Ballakrishnen will be joining us on May 3, 2016. 

Dermot Feenan, University of Portsmouth School of Law, United Kingdom

Feenan holds an LL.M. from Queen’s University, Canada, an M.A. in Medical Ethics and Law from King’s College London, and an LL.B. from The Queen’s University of Belfast. He is also a Barrister-at-Law (non-practicing) of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland.  At Portsmouth, Feenan coordinates the School’s Innovations series, Café Jurist, and the Southern Law PhD Conference. His research interests include socio-legal studies, judicial appointments, legal consciousness, and compassion and law.

Holly Foster, Texas A&M University

Foster received her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Her research interests include crime and deviance, life course, and social inequality. Foster works with ABF Research Professor John Hagan on research on mass incarceration and the effects of parental imprisonment on children.

Jack Jin Gary Lee, University of California, San Diego 

Lee’s dissertation research examines the institutional causes and consequences of the reconstitution of Jamaica and the Straits Settlements (Malacca, Penang and Singapore) as Crown Colonies in the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Because both colonies adopted Crown Colony government during the consolidation of reforms to colonial government and the use of English laws in the empire, they provide strategic lenses to understand the historical origins and enduring effects of these eventful institutional developments. As a historical sociologist of public institutions, he is also interested in the making and implications of citizenship laws and labor migration policies across contexts. The initial findings from his dissertation research have been published in the Asian Journal of Law and Society.

Tamara Butter, Institute for Sociology of Law/Centre for Migration Law, Radboud University, The Netherlands

Butter holds an LL.B from Maastricht University and an LL.M in both Public International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Sociology of Law/Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her research consists of a comparative case study into the professional decision making of asylum legal aid lawyers in the Netherlands and England.

Susan Block-Lieb, Fordham University School of Law

Block-Lieb earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She is the Cooper Family Chair of Urban Legal Studies at Fordham Law School. Her research interests include bankruptcy, consumer protection, and international organizations. Block-Lieb has collaborated with ABF Research Professor Terence C. Halliday on several research projects on the topic of international law.

Sida Liu, University of Wisconsin Madison and American Bar Foundation

Liu's research interests focus on the historical change, social structure, political mobilization, and globalization of the legal profession. Liu has conducted extensive research on the Chinese legal profession as an empirical case for understanding how social structures such as professions, markets, and the state are produced by social processes such as boundary work, exchange, and migration. He is working on a collaborative project with Terence C. Halliday on the political mobilization of Chinese lawyers in the criminal justice system.

Anna-Maria Marshall, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Anna-Maria Marshall is Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia (1985) and her Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University (1999).  Her research is broadly focused on studying the relationship between law and social change. She is currently at work on a project about the factors that influence farmers’ decisions to adopt new technologies promoting conservation and sustainability.

César F. Rosado Marzán, IIT-Chicago-Kent College of Law

Rosado Marzán is a law and society scholar. His research combines ethnography, interviews, and legal research, among other methods, to understand the theory and practice of aspects of American, comparative, and international labor and employment law.

Chantal Nadeau, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chantal Nadeau is a Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work centers on the ways that desire, sexuality, and perversion are bound up with the legal and political imaginary of the (postcolonial) nation.

Carlo A. Pedrioli, Barry University School of Law

Prior to returning to academia, Pedrioli was a legal aid attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance in Modesto, CA where he represented indigent clients, mainly in the areas of housing, employment, and elder law. He continues to provide periodic pro bono representation to indigent litigants in federal court, particularly at the appellate level. His research interests include constitutional law, civil rights, critical theory, law and rhetoric, and legal history. 

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