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An Interview with Ozlem Aydin Sakrak, Foreign Law Intern

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The following interview is with Ozlem Aydin Sakrak. Ozlem is currently working as an intern in the Law Library’s Global Legal Research Center.

Describe your background

I am a Turkish lawyer. Although I live in Ankara, I am originally from a small town, a popular seaside holiday resort on the beautiful west coast of Turkey. Growing up in a family full of teachers, I was the only one who chose a different career path: law. I earned my Bachelor of Laws degree from Ankara University Faculty of Law, which was inaugurated by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1925 and is considered as the beginning of the law reform in the newly founded Republic. As an excited freshman, I was welcomed by the following words of Ataturk, inscribed on the marble at the entrance of the Faculty Hall: “No other inauguration made me happier than opening this great institution which will be the sanction of the Republic and I am delighted to show and express this feeling.” Ozlem Aydin Sakrak seated on red bench with a white wall in the background.

After graduation, I completed the one-year apprenticeship period, registered with the Ankara Bar Association, and started to practice law in a law firm in Ankara.  However, instead of working in the private sector, I always wanted to pursue a career in the public sector and find an opportunity to contribute in the policy making process of my country. Therefore, I started to work at the Turkish Treasury where I have been working in the Office of the Legal Advisor since 2006. By working in an institution accepted as one of the pioneers in the economic management of Turkey, I gained significant responsibility early in my career and worked on a diversity of legal issues including international financial agreements, investment law, and dispute resolution. I came to the United States in 2011 on a scholarship from the Treasury and completed my LL.M. degree at Georgetown University Law Center in May 2013 with an additional certificate in international arbitration and dispute resolution. I was fortunate to have had a terrific time during my two year pursuit of the LL.M., not only in the sense of strengthening my knowledge, but also making lifelong friends from all over the world.

How would you describe your job to other people?

As a foreign law intern, I work with Dr. Wendy Zeldin, senior legal research analyst in the Global Legal Research Center, in conducting legal research and writing articles on Turkish law issues. I am assisting with responses to Turkish law research requests and drafting articles for the Global Legal Monitor. In addition, I am contributing to the improvement of the Guide to Law Online for Turkey, as well as to the development of the Turkish law collection of the Law Library, which is already very impressive. I really love working here; everyone is very friendly and welcoming. I especially appreciate the support and assistance that Ms. Zeldin provides to me.

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

It is definitely an honor for me to work in such a prestigious institution that has the world’s largest collection of law books and other legal resources from all countries and serves members of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the executive branch of the U.S. Government, as well as researchers, lawyers, and other members of the public. I can surely say that it is one the best places to work to improve research and writing skills and understand different legal systems. Moreover, interning at the Law Library of Congress provides me with an opportunity to contribute to Turkish law research, improve the Turkish law collection, and make my country’s laws more understandable, while at the same time learning form legal specialists from different jurisdictions.

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

I was fascinated by the collections that the Library of Congress possesses. I was especially excited to see the significant Roman Law collection, which I believe is a privilege to see for a lawyer in his/her lifetime. The other interesting and exciting fact I discovered about the Law Library of Congress is that the Global Legal Research Center has a diverse group of foreign law specialists and provides global jurisdictional coverage for over 240 jurisdictions.  It is a unique experience to work with such a group of experienced international lawyers. 

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

I am a fan of international film festivals. Also, I was in a theater group both at high school and university and I trod the boards. Besides, during my LL.M, I served as the President of Foreign Lawyers at Georgetown (FLAG), where I organized professional and social events with the other members of the organization.

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