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An Interview with Molly O’Casey, Foreign Law Intern

Today’s interview is with Molly O’Casey, a foreign law intern working with Nicolas Boring on research related to the laws of France and other French-speaking jurisdictions and with Clare Feikert-Ahalt on research related to the United Kingdom and a number of Commonwealth jurisdictions. Molly has recently graduated from a dual law degree (civil law/common law) program between University College Dublin, in Ireland, and Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, in France.

Describe your background.

Molly O'Casey

Photo by Jenny Gesley

I was born in Dublin, Ireland. My family moved to Texas when I was about two years old. I then grew up in Dallas, before moving to Belfast, Northern Ireland to finish high school. I have recently completed a dual law degree from University College Dublin, in Dublin, and Paris II Pantheon-Assas, in Paris.

During university, I enjoyed mooting, debating, and writing. I represented my university in a few mooting and international debate competitions and I contributed articles to student legal publications and our university newspaper.

As the director of seminars and conferences for the Paris branch of the European Law Students Association (E.L.S.A), I had the chance to work with a great team of students in organizing conferences, fundraisers and information campaigns on law and policy related topics. My extracurricular activities in Paris mainly consisted of going to museums and eating significant amounts of pastry.

I have previously worked at a university legal clinic, a human resources consulting firm, and an immigration law firm.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I complete research projects, under the guidance of highly-qualified international lawyers. I also author blog posts for In Custodia Legis and give presentations on research findings. Due to my dual-law background, I research the English, Irish, and Commonwealth jurisdictions, as well as the francophone jurisdictions. I really enjoy the challenge of translating French legal phrases into English, as there may not be an equivalent term or concept.

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

The Law Library of Congress has a prestigious and storied history. It is unique in the scope of its global legal research. I really wanted to be a part of that history and to contribute to fostering understanding and cooperation between international legal systems. I also hoped to refine my research skills through the wide scope of research performed at the Library and I felt that the work of the Law Library would put my specialization in both the civil and common law systems to full use.

I am also fascinated by Washington D.C. as the nexus of the creation of law and public policy.

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

Below the library there are stacks which span the size of two football fields and are full of rare and ancient books. The oldest I saw was from the 1600s. The scope of the knowledge contained on those shelves is awe-inspiring. Walking around its labyrinthine corridors is an experience out of a sci-fi/fantasy novel.

Reliable sources would suggest that the best coffee can be found at the end of the tunnel connecting the Madison and Jefferson buildings.

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

I worked in a crêperie in New Jersey for a summer. It was challenging because servers both served and prepared the food in view of the customers. Following my time there, I can make crêpes, blintzes and potato pancakes. The crêperie also trained me as a barista and in making whipped cream and sauce look artsy.

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