This week’s interview is with Nicolas Boring, Foreign Law Specialist at the Law Library of Congress, who covers France and other French-speaking countries. Nicolas has recently been hired and we wish him “Bienvenue à bord” (welcome on board).
Describe your background
I am half French and half American. I mostly grew up in France, in the suburbs of Paris (specifically, a small town called Mareil-Marly. After high school, I studied law at the Université de Paris 10 – Nanterre (which has since changed its name to Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. After obtaining my Licence de Droit I moved to the United States and got a J.D. from the College of William & Mary. I have lived in the D.C. area ever since graduating from law school, except for a year that I spent in Wales in 2010-2011. I went there as a bit of a sabbatical from the practice of law, and to get a master’s degree in international politics at Aberystwyth University (which is actually the top-ranked international relations department in the UK ). Other than that, I have spent most of the last ten years working as a lawyer for different law firms in the D.C. area.
How would you describe your job to other people?
As the legal specialist for France and other French-speaking countries, I do research on a wide variety of legal issues involving my assigned jurisdictions. I may be asked to write a report on contract law in Togo, or I could be asked to answer a question regarding criminal procedure in France, or I might have to write a memorandum on civil liability in Haiti. The list of possible examples could go on forever.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
I wanted to work here for several reasons. First, I was attracted by the work environment at the Law Library of Congress, which seems to be a bit more academic than at the law firms where I have worked in the past. Second, I have a strong interest in history, and working for such a storied and historically significant institution is quite exciting to me. And finally, and most importantly, I was attracted by the prospect of doing research on such a wide variety of issues, as mentioned in my answer to the previous question. My job at the Law Library of Congress gives me the opportunity to constantly learn and discover new things, and I love that.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
I am impressed by the amount of foreign law material that the Law Library of Congress possesses. Before coming here, I really had no idea that it had such an extensive collection of foreign law books and periodicals.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I am a big history buff. From ancient Rome to the Cold War, I find almost all historical topics interesting. Also, I like to paint, as a hobby. I mostly do watercolors, although I sometimes dabble in oils as well. I mostly focus on landscapes.