Associate Dean for Faculty Development, University Professor & M.E. Kilpatrick Chair of Corporate Finance and Securities Law
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(706) 542-7404

University of Georgia
School of Law
210 Hirsch Hall
Athens, GA 30602
United States

B.A., Georgetown University
M.A., University of Wisconsin
J.D., University of Virginia


Lifecycle of the Corporation
Business Ethics

Biographical Information

Usha R. Rodrigues leads courses in contracts, business ethics, business associations and securities regulation, and she presently serves as the law school's associate dean for faculty development, a post she previously held from 2015 to 2018.

Rodrigues joined the School of Law's faculty in the fall of 2005 and was named the holder of the M.E. Kilpatrick Chair of Corporate Finance and Securities Law in 2014. She was awarded the title of University Professor in 2019, which was then awarded to no more than one UGA faculty member per year and was reserved for professors who had served as "change agents" for UGA. Her other university honors and roles include service as UGA's interim vice provost for academic affairs from February 2022 to April 2023. Rodrigues also has been the University Council's parliamentarian since 2014. Additionally, she holds a courtesy appointment in UGA's Terry College of Business.

Prior to coming to Athens, Rodrigues was a corporate associate with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Reston, Va., where she specialized in corporate law and technology transactions. She also served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

In addition to her academic work, Rodrigues remains active in the legal profession. She has served as an expert in both litigation and transactional matters. She has testified before the House Financial Services Committee and been quoted in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Her work has appeared in the Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Fordham, Emory, Florida, and Washington and Lee law reviews, among others. She has also published in online fora of the Vanderbilt, UCLA, Texas and Harvard Business law reviews and in the peer-reviewed Journal of Corporate Finance. She has served as the chair of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools Business Associations Section and as the president of the Law and Entrepreneurship Association. She was elected to the American Law Institute in 2016.

Rodrigues earned her bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Georgetown University, her master's degree in comparative literature summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin and her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.


Publications & Activities


Optimizing Whistleblowing, 94 Temp. L. Rev. 255 (2022). 

Embrace the SEC, 61 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 133 (2020).

Financial Contracting with the Crowd, 69 Emory L.J. 397 (2019).

Law and the Blockchain, 104 Iowa L. Rev. 679 (2018).

Tournament of Managers: Lessons from the Academic Leadership Market, 43 J. Corp. L. 537 (2018).

Does Shareholder Voting Matter? Evidence from the Takeover Market, 53 Wake Forest L. Rev. 157 (2018) (with P. Mason, M. Stegemoller & S. Utke).

Dictation and Delegation in Securities Regulation, 92 Ind. L.J. 435 (2017).

Mispricing Corruption, 31 J.L. & Pol. 45 (2015).

The Once and Future Irrelevancy of Section 12(g), 2015 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1529 (2015).

What All-Cash Companies Tell Us About IPOs and Acquisitions, 29 J. Corp. Fin. 111 (2014) (with M. Stegemoller).

The Effect of the JOBS Act on Underwriting Spreads, 102 Ky. L.J. 925 (2014).

Ethical Issues for Transactional Attorneys Here and Abroad, 15 Transactions: Tenn. J.Bus. L. 593 (2014) (with C. Gofoth, C. Morgan and C. Plump).

A Conflict Primacy Model of the Public Board, 2013 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1051 (2013).

In Search of Safe Harbor: Suggestions for the New Rule 506(c), 66 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 29 (2013).

Exit, Voice, and Reputation: The Evolution of SPACs, 37 Del. J. Corp. L. 849 (2013) (with M. Stegemoller).

Securities Law's Dirty Little Secret, 81 Fordham L. Rev. 3389 (2013).

SPACs and the JOBS Act, 3 Harv. Bus. L. Rev. Online 17 (2012).

Entity and Identity, 60 Emory L.J. 1257 (2011).

Corporate Governance in an Age of Separation of Ownership from Ownership, 95 Minn. L. Rev. 1822 (2011).

The Power of Warm Glow, 88 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 149 (2010).

Placebo Ethics: A Study in Securities Disclosure Arbitrage, 96 Va. L. Rev. 1 (2010) (with M. Stegemoller).

From Loyalty to Conflict: Addressing Fiduciary Duty at the Officer Level, 61 Fla. L. Rev. 1 (2009).

The Fetishization of Independence, 33 J. Corp. Law 447 (2008).

An Inconsistency in SEC Disclosure Requirements? The Case of the "Insignificant" Private Target, 13 J. Corp. Fin. 251 (2007) (with M. Stegemoller).

The Seductive Comparison of Shareholder and Civic Democracy, 63 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1389 (2007).

Let the Money Do the Governing: The Case for Reuniting Ownership and Control, 9 Stan. J.L. Bus. & Fin. 254 (2004).

Race to the Stars: A Federalism Argument for Leaving the Right of Publicity in the Hand of the States, 87 Va. L. Rev. 1201 (2001).