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An Interview with Loi Huynh, Foreign Law Intern

This week’s interview is with Loi Huynh.  Loi is spending time working for the Law Library this summer as an intern in the Global Legal Research Center.

Describe your background.

I was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  I was fortunate to grow up in a family where being a lawyer was an inspiring and influential choice of profession.  My father is a lawyer.  So are my uncle and my cousin.  When I was a teenager, I was exposed to the world of legal practitioners.  My father runs a small law office at home and I regularly assisted him with minor tasks, such as typing, answering and receiving calls, welcoming clients, etc.

What is your academic/professional history?

My first law degree was a Bachelor of Law granted by Ho Chi Minh City University of Law in 2009.  For two years after graduation, I worked as a junior associate at Indochine Counsel.  It is a local law firm that assists both international and local clients in major business areas, including foreign investment, mergers and acquisitions, securities and capital markets, taxation, and intellectual property to name a few. 

In the fall of 2011 I came to the United States to begin the LLM program at the American University Washington College of Law.  I expect to obtain the LLM degree in August 2012. 

Before interning at the Law Library of Congress, I interned for the Grassroots Business Fund.  The Fund is a unique nonprofit/for-profit hybrid model that provides microfinance in South America, Africa and Asia.  Prior to working at the Fund, I had a four month internship at the Public International Law and Policy Group – a global pro bono law firm that provides legal assistance to states and governments regarding the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements, the drafting of post-conflict constitutions, and the creation and operation of war crimes tribunals.

How would you describe your job to other people?

Currently, I assist Sayuri Umeda, Senior Foreign Law Specialist, respond to legal research inquiries relating to Vietnam.  Also, I frequently contribute articles to the Global Legal Monitor – an amazing effort of the Law Library of Congress to cover legal news and developments worldwide.

Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?

Working at the Law Library of Congress is very important to my career plans in both the long term and the short term.  Ultimately, I plan to become a high profile lawyer in the area of international business in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.  For the next two years, I hope to gain work experience in the United States before eventually going back to Vietnam.  At the Law Library of Congress I have the opportunity to improve my legal research and drafting skills, which are essential to all lawyers.  Furthermore, I can access the largest collection of legal resources in the world.    I interact and work with foreign lawyers daily which will help prepare me professionally for the international working environment.

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library of Congress?

I am fascinated that people can follow the Law Library on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  This demonstrates that the Law Library is keeping up with the times even though it is old - July 14th marked its 180th anniversary.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

France and Japan are the countries that I am most interested to learn about in terms of languages, culture, people, etc.  The inspiration comes from the interesting connection between me and these countries.  My first name – Loi – literally means “Law” in French.  It may be a coincidence, yet the name was given to me by my grandfather who was fluent in French because he was a government official during the French colonization era in Vietnam.  In terms of my interest in Japan, this relates to the fact that my father studied in Japan for over a year.  He occasionally has recalled his beautiful memories of his time in Japan by showing me old photo albums.  I am now fortunate to work with a seasoned Japanese lawyer, Ms. Sayuri Umeda, at the Law Library of Congress.  In addition, while I was working in Vietnam, one of my professional mentors was a lawyer whose LLM degree was granted by Nagoya University Graduate School.

One Comment

  1. Aaron H
    July 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    This is a nice and refreshing interview and I wish Loi the best of luck. However…

    “I am fascinated that people can follow the Law Library on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This demonstrates that the Law Library is keeping up with the times”

    I don’t find that fascinating at all. I find it highly annoying as the services offered by these private corporations can all be easily offered directly without the corporate interests that may be in conflict with a public mission. These private services have no value add here. To me it indicates that there is clueless management at the LOC too eager to embrace their insecurities about technology and zeitgeist.

    WestLaw and Bloomberg are bad enough… but Facebook and Twitter now!?! Duplicating YouTube functionality on your own website is an afternoon project for even a mediocre IT group… advertisement and Google snooping not required.

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