April 03, 2009
Virginia! Post-submission reflections
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

The article I blogged about will be published in one of the finest legal publications in the country: the Virginia Law Review!  My co-author Mike Stegemoller and I couldn't be more pleased. A few semi-random reflections on my latest foray into the submissions jungle, and scholarship generally:

1. Indulge your hunches.  My grand plan for last summer was a project on non-profit governance structures.  But while researching my last article, I kept wondering about these ethics waivers required by SOX 406--how many were out there?  Was the requirement just a joke, or were companies actually disclosing what they were supposed to?  "Stop distracting yourself, Usha," I told myself, "no one's written about it because  nothing's there.  Focus."  But the question kept needling me, so I blogged about it last summer, and hired some research assistants to collect data.  I felt pretty silly doing it, but I went with it.  It paid off.

2. Hire RAs.  Their work can be helpful, especially for discrete tasks.  Even better, your need to keep them occupied creates mini-deadlines and forces you to keep a project moving forward, even when it's fifth on your list of things to do that day.

3. Embrace serendipity.  I'd been teaching for only 2 months when I left the house on my morning jog and ran into 3 people standing on the driveway of the house next door.  One was Harold Mulherin, who was joining UGA's banking and finance department and was thinking of buying the house.  The other two were Jeff Netter and Annette Poulsen, also of UGA's finance department.  Jeff's former student,  Mike, was looking for a law-type to co-author a paper.  And that's how I met Mike.  (Oh, and Harold did end up buying the house.) 

4.  Consider empirical work.  This is a subject for a different post, which I'm tempted to write just because I could title it: "Living in an empirical world".  I'm far from being an "empirical girl," but I have enjoyed my two empirical pieces.  For those of you new to the academy, Lisa blogged on the topic of pre-tenure empirical scholarship 2 years ago and generated a great discussion.

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