SPUR 2022: Pranavi Agrawal, W’25

My first-year fall, I took a class in Legal Studies and Business Ethics under Professor William S. Laufer. We dove into the intricacies of civil and criminal law and how corporations can fall under the purview of corporate crime. However, legal systems across the world differ, and as an international student, I pondered, “How would these concepts be applicable in the context of Indian law?

When I came across the Wharton Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), I was sure that I wanted my research to be based on this subject. Under the guidance of my faculty advisor Prof. Laufer, I came up with a specific topic for my research, “Corporate Criminal Liability – A Pressing Issue in India.” Participating in this program gave me the opportunity to research a topic I was deeply interested in, while also building on what I had learned in class.

With the resources provided by SPUR, I took a deep dive into the world of corporate and criminal law and conducted research on how these two were interrelated. Under the mentorship of my faculty advisor, I studied the history of the development of the concept of corporate criminal liability around the world and narrowed it down specifically to India.

The research program gave me a better understanding of the Indian legal system, while also helping me understand how I like to learn. I realized that I love reading newspaper articles and talking to industry professionals to get insights into the world of corporate law, and using their ideas to synthesize my own. One of the most challenging parts of the research was actually being able to understand legal frameworks and jargon, but with consistent effort and guidance from my advisor, I was able to work on it and expand my knowledge.

SPUR definitely taught me how to manage my time well. My advice to someone starting their research would be: be persistent in your research, a little at a time goes along a long way. Moreover, it’s important to choose a topic that you’re really passionate about, so that you stay motivated throughout the research and excited to begin every day of summer.