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Interview with Antoinette Ofosu-Kwakye, Foreign Law Intern

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This week’s interview is with Antoinette Ofosu-Kwakye, a summer intern at the Global Legal Research Center, Law Library of Congress. The Law Library’s internship program is in full swing and we plan to introduce all our summer interns to In Custodia Legis readers every week. Stay tuned.

Describe your background

Antoinette Ofosu-Kwakye standing to the right of a dark wood bookshelf with a gold colored model ship on one shelf and several papers on another.

I was born and raised in Ghana but moved to South Africa in 2008. Having studied in the field of humanities with a major in geography and a minor in sociology, I graduated with a BA degree from the University of Ghana. Buzzing with enthusiasm and perhaps lofty ideas as a fresh graduate and a dream of engaging in the world of work, I coincidentally entered the aviation industry. Having witnessed a situation which was rather emotional but yet strengthening, I was motivated to choose a legal career. My interest in preserving the greater public good and maintaining public trust in society motivated me to intern for both the Legal Aid program at the Department of Justice (Queenstown branch) and the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa (Cape Town). In 2010, I earned an LL.B. from the University of Cape Town. In May 2013, I received my Master of Laws (LL.M) from the Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law.

 How would you describe your job to other people?

As an intern, my job involves conducting research on almost all the English speaking African countries in order to provide detailed responses to inquires originating from the three branches of the United States Government and the general public. I work under the supervision of Hanibal Goitom, a foreign legal specialist, who provides me with the necessary assistance and coaching. I love the job here because I get the opportunity to research and learn about the legal systems of different jurisdictions and also the chance to contribute to the Global Legal Monitor.

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

I wanted to work at the Library of Congress because of its outstanding reputation. I value the services the specialists here provide, especially to Congress and the general public. So, I decided to intern here and to help out with the research work. I am also optimistic that the practical training I receive here will be an added value as I prepare myself for the legal world.

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

I was in awe when I learnt that the sub-basement which holds most of the Law Library’s books is about the size of two football fields. Even more, I was overwhelmed when I saw the stacks of books and collections in person. I couldn’t compare it to any library that I have seen before. A few days ago, I read that the Library of Congress turned 213 this year.

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

Something my co-workers do not know about me is that back in junior school I was an athlete who did a lot of track events. Now, during my leisure I write poems.

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