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An Interview with Nichaya Soothipan, Foreign Law Intern

The following is an interview with Nichaya Soothipan, a foreign law intern at the Law Library of Congress.  Nichaya is the third intern we have interviewed this year.  We will soon have many more interns working at the Law Library for various periods during the summer months.

Describe your background.

I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand.  My family has a long history of working in the field of law.  I graduated from the same law school as my grandfather and my mother – Thammsat University in Thailand.  My sister is now in her last year of law school at the same university.  I was always very curious and interested in my Mom’s work.  While I was growing up I saw her work in this area and I greatly admired her, leading me to eventually choose law as my major.

I came to the United States in order to continue my education.  I received my Master of Laws (LL.M.) from American University, Washington College of Law in December 2012, where I specialized in International Business Law.  I am now considering pursuing a second LL.M. in a different area of law.  During my time in the United States I’d like to gain the maximum amount of knowledge and experience that I can.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am assisting Sayuri Umeda, Senior Foreign Law Specialist, in conducting research on Thai law.  I also write articles in English on developments in Thai law based on Thai-language sources.

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

The Law Library of Congress has the world’s largest collection of law books and legal resources.  To work as a research intern here is a very big opportunity and a great privilege for me.  I’ve learned a lot and improved my research and writing skills, and I’ve also had a chance to explore areas of law that I’m not very familiar with, giving me much greater understanding of those issues.

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

The most interesting fact I’ve learned is how much diversity there is in the Law Library of Congress.  There are many foreign law specialists and, in addition to the permanent staff, the Law Library has people from all over the world coming to work here for short periods.  Right now I work in the same room as three people from three different countries, which is very difficult to find in other workplaces.

I’m also fascinated with the collections of the Library of Congress, which contain books from all over the world.  I was very surprised the first time I saw a set of old Thai law books that I’ve never seen before.  They were also in very good condition.

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

I am an outdoor person and I love playing handball.  I played handball during high school but this sport is not well-known in my country so I had to stop playing it after I graduated from high school.  However, when I came to the United States I found out that there is a handball team called DC Diplomats (DCD), and that anyone can participate in the game.  I am so happy and thrilled that I can continue playing the sport I love!

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