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An Interview with Chloe Gillenwater, Foreign Law Intern

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This week’s interview is with Chloe Gillenwater, a foreign law intern working in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress.

Chloe Gillenwater standing in front of a large globe.
Chloe Gillenwater, photo by Donna Sokol

Describe your background.

I was born and raised in Paris. I’m a French lawyer with a Paris Ouest Nanterre Master 2 and an LL.M from Duke University, and have been admitted to the New York bar. I have experience working at international law firms in Argentina, in France at Hogan Lovells, and also for NGOs such as the Red Cross.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I research legal issues related to francophone countries using the vast resources of the Library of Congress. I help to draft responses to requests from Congress, government agencies, and private patrons, under the supervision of Nicolas Boring, the foreign law specialist for francophone countries. I also draft articles for the Global Legal Monitor.

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

The Law Library of Congress is a fascinating institution with impressive resources and the quality and nature of the work is unique. Not many lawyers get to research a wide range of legal issues regarding more than 25 different countries! I am always working on a different legal issue and learning more about a new country and its legal system.

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

The Library of Congress is a modern Library of Alexandria (Egypt, not Virginia). There are more books than you could ever imagine: you have to see it to believe it! The Law Library of Congress has more legal material on some countries then they have themselves. Even more interesting is the quality of the book collection: every topic and country you could think of is covered and I have even found books dating from the 18th century!

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

I enjoy learning new languages and teaching French. I have taught Legalese French at the Alliance Française of DC and I am currently working on improving my Spanish.

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