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Ananth Padmanabhan

Ananth Padmanabhan

Current work:
Sloan Fellow, MSx Program 2022-2023, Graduate School of Business, University of Stanford

A law graduate from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, India, who worked as a disputes lawyer for six years in the Madras High Court before deciding to pursue the one-year LLM program at Penn Carey Law. Upon graduating in 2014, was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship to pursue the SJD program.

During the non-residence phase of my SJD program, I worked with the Carnegie Endowment in New Delhi, partly motivated by the incredible technology law and policy training I received while in residence and during my LLM year. After completing the doctoral thesis, I switched to a full-time academic career while also serving as a university leader. The insights from that journey helped me clarify my goals better, and decide to pursue the mid-career program that I am now enrolled in at the University of Stanford.

SJD program:
Copyright’s Technology Play: A Study of the Interplay between Copyright Law and Digital Media
Prof. Shyamkrishna Balganesh; Committee members were Prof. Gideon Parchomovsky & Prof. Polk Wagner; December 19, 2019

Impact of SJD program in your career:
The SJD program is truly both a journey and a destination. The journey made me ask deep questions, engage with interdisciplinary research, think big picture, and construct ambitious and novel policy frameworks. The imperatives of the destination pushed me to organize my time better and put pen to paper when I had to finally deliver on the promises of a five-year journey of enquiry and imagination. In return, it gave a big push to my academic career, reposing confidence in my former employer to hire me as the dean of a new private law school in India and directly confer an associate professor appointment. Without Penn Carey Law and its unique brand positioning, this would never have happened. Subsequently, the program also placed me in a unique position when applying for the MSx program at Stanford, both towards securing admission and being awarded a generous tuition waiver.

What makes the SJD program at Penn unique:
The flexibility to pursue intellectual goals without any interference from the program team, which displays great sensitivity towards the process of academic enquiry; a healthy respect towards comparative experiences in other legal systems; the opportunity to go beyond doctrinal law and explore novel policy frameworks by relying on interdisciplinary insights.

Advice to SJD candidates:
Be ambitious about your project rather than in a hurry to graduate; try being in regular touch with your advisor, even if you are not in residence.