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An Interview with Chayada Polpun, Foreign Law Intern

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This week’s interview is with Chayada Polpun, a summer intern working in the Global Legal Research Center of the Law Library of Congress. It is part of a series of interviews that introduce our summer interns to In Custodia Legis readers. You may have noticed that Chayada missed the interns’ group photo we recently published in a Pic of the Week post, Law Library Summer Interns – 2013 EditionYou can expect to see more of her, though; she is working on a post to highlight the Thai legal resources in the Law Library for our Global Legal Collection Highlights series. Stay tuned!

Describe your background

I was born in Phitsanulok in Northern Thailand, but I live in Bangkok, the capital. I earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, majoring in philosophy and religion, from Kasetsart University. Subsequently, I obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Ramkhamhaeng University, passed the Thai Bar exam and got an attorney license. I then continued my legal education in the United States and earned a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. I am currently enrolled in a second LL.M. program at Georgetown University Law Center. I hope to broaden my legal knowledge and strengthen my ability to provide legal advice to people in need when I go back to my country.

How would you describe your job to other people?

A headshot of Chayada Polpun.
Chayada Polpun

I work under the supervision of Senior Foreign Law Specialist Sayuri Umeda. I assist Sayuri in writing articles and conducting research concerning Thai legal issues. The assignments are challenging and I learn new information about Thai law and Thai scholars’ perspectives every day. My experience at the Law Library enables me to utilize various print and digital resources to conduct legal research. In conducting research on Thai law I often use Thai language legal databases to access up-to-date statutory law, court precedents, and scholarly writings on the interpretation of Thai law.

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

I wanted to research and write articles on Thai law from the perspective of a Thai lawyer, and contribute to the improvement of the Thai collection at the Law Library of Congress based on my knowledge of Thai legal resources. I also wanted to experience working at a place known as a center of global legal research and as the home of the world’s largest legal collections.

I enjoy interning under Sayuri’s guidance and having the opportunity to interact with other foreign law specialists who specialize in the laws of different countries.

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

The first time I saw the collection of law books in the basement of the Law Library I was stunned because it was gigantic and I thought I could get lost there. I saw many ancient Thai law books, both in Thai and in English, that I had never seen before in my own country. I also love the fact that this place is full of international co-workers and they are all friendly. I like working in a diverse environment in which I can always learn of new cultures and of different points of view.

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

My co-workers may not know how much I love spicy food. I have to eat something spicy in almost every meal; otherwise, I will not feel energetic. I love trying every kind of food that is spicy. If it is not spicy enough, I always ask for hot sauce.

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