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An Interview with Cynthia Chen, Foreign Law Intern

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Today’s interview is with Cynthia Chen, a foreign law intern currently working with Tariq Ahmad on research related to the laws of Canada.

Describe your background.

Cynthia Chen standing in front of a large globe.
Photo by Tariq Ahmad

I was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, a city in the west of Canada. I moved to Montreal, Quebec when I was five years old and I have been living there ever since. I recently completed the second year of my civil law (LLB) degree at the University of Montreal. I have previously interned at a law firm in Beijing, China, in the field of antitrust/competition law, as well as in a non-profit organization in Montreal for the defense of tenants’ rights. Next semester, I will be studying abroad at University of College Cork in Ireland.

How would you describe your job to other people?

As an intern in the Global Legal Research Directorate, I conduct research and assist in the writing of reports on various aspects of Canadian law in response to requests from the U.S. Congress, federal courts and agencies, as well as the general public. I also assist with matters concerning other francophone jurisdictions, such as France and Belgium. In addition, I write articles about recent legal developments in Canada for this blog and for the Global Legal Monitor.

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

I was extremely eager to work at the Law Library of Congress, because it is such a unique and enriching experience. In addition to offering an unrivaled wealth of resources with the largest legal collection in the world, the Law Library is staffed by a diverse and highly qualified team of legal specialists from around the globe. I knew that it would be very stimulating to be surrounded by people with so many different backgrounds and perspectives and that such an environment would allow me to learn enormously. The experience of living in Washington, DC was definitely another plus, especially during the elections!

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

Although I already knew that the Law Library has the largest legal collection in the world, it was only when I walked through the stacks in the sub-basement that I realized just how many books were in the Library’s collection. Also, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that the working environment is extremely friendly and collegial.

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

I am a competitive badminton player. I compete for my University team, les Carabins de Montreal, and I have also represented my province on numerous occasions at the national level.

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