This week’s interview is with Róisín Fitzpatrick, one of our interns here for the summer.
I am from Ireland and live in a very rural area called Loch Gowna, Cavan. I was lucky enough to be accepted onto the Washington Ireland Program for this summer. This is a leadership program that brings Southern Irish and Northern Irish students over to Washington to intern and learn essential professional skills. Together we will learn how to respect and build on each others’ differences and similarities to build a stable and peaceful future for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
What is your academic/professional history?
I am a qualified legal secretary. While studying to be a legal secretary, I completed a night course that enabled me to study law at the National University Ireland – Galway. I loved every moment studying law and finished my degree this summer. During my time at university, I was involved in establishing and managing a Free Legal Advice Clinic on campus. That clinic (committee) is now fully functional and we are in the process of creating a Free Legal Disability Clinic.
How would you describe your internship to other people?
Varied and exciting! I never would have thought a couple of years ago that I would ever have the chance to intern at the Law Library of Congress – it was something of dreams rather than reality! So I tell people that I help research legal questions asked by members of Congress and executive bodies on areas of Irish, Caribbean and Canadian law under the excellent guidance of Steve Clarke.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library?
I think it is extremely important that government representatives are fully aware of the law and its impact. It is their role to create and implement the law and thus they must be fully informed on global comparisons of proposed legislation and its effects and consequences. I have always been interested in research and I knew that the Law Library would give me the opportunity to explore this further.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the law library?
What is something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
My grandfather was Martin Ennals, a British human rights activist who served as the Secretary-General of Amnesty International between 1968 and 1980. He has been a hugely inspirational figure in my life.