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An Interview with Abdalrahman Alangari, Foreign Law Intern

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Describe your background.

I was born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I attended elementary, middle, and high school there. In 2008, I graduated from Al-Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Islamic law.

What is your academic/professional history?

Abdulrahman Angari standing in front of a building by a sign reading, "Madison Library of Congress."After graduating from college in 2008, I was nominated and appointed to serve as an associate judge for the Saudi Board of Grievances in Jeddah (now the Administrative Court). In that role I gained experience working in the penal, commercial, and administrative courts for two years. Later, I changed jobs to work as an Islamic banking and finance researcher in Al Bilad Bank in Riyadh for a year, where I assessed commercial contracts for compliance with Islamic finance standards and with the need to maintain equity among the parties. Similarly, I reviewed and revised initiatives for new Islamic financial products. During my time at the bank, I assisted with the writing of the Islamic and Banking Department’s book titled Standards Abstracted from Resolutions of Shari’a Board of Bank Al-Bilad.

I wanted to lecture and teach at a university, so I changed my career to be a lecturer at the Islamic Law College of Al-Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, where I taught and lectured on Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) and its principles (Usul al-Fiqh). I also supervised undergraduate students throughout their studies and research work, guiding them in the methods of academic writing to ensure they achieved excellent reviews. Ultimately, I was granted a scholarship to earn LL.M and S.J.D degrees in law– which I am currently completing at Georgetown University Law Center, with a focus on International Business and Economic Law and International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution. I’m on track to graduate in May 2017.

I am very passionate about practicing law and the Law Library of Congress offers a unique forum for gaining legal experience while contributing research to the U.S. federal government’s entities and other international organizations and international law firms. After attaining an LL.M. and S.J.D., I aim to teach law in my country, hopefully at my alma mater, while working at an international law firm.

How would you describe your job to other people?

At the Law Library of Congress, I provide the Global Legal Research Directorate with general research and legal assistance related to the Gulf countries, particularly on the business and commerce aspects of Saudi Arabian law. This includes providing information about the Arbitration Law and the Companies’ Law, and comparing them with other foreign laws. In addition, I contribute to legal research reports, articles, and blog posts produced by the Law Library of Congress.

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

When I realized that the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, I was highly motivated to experience the nature of the work here. Being a student at Georgetown Law Center also allowed me to learn about the significant role that the Law Library of Congress plays nationally and internationally. It provides the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. federal courts, executive agencies, commissions, and general public with comprehensive research and legal consultation on U.S., foreign, comparative, and international laws. By the same token, being surrounded by various backgrounds and diverse lawyers enriches my internship and my study of law by advancing and refining my legal research skills in a unique common law country. This would certainly assist me in writing my S.J.D. dissertation. These factors have inspired me to explore, contribute to, and benefit from this legal research institution.

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

I have been impressed by the massive collections of the Law Library of Congress, which date back to its creation in 1832. The size of the collections is almost equivalent to two football fields placed in the sub-basement of the James Madison Memorial Building. The authoritative resources regarding most countries have been well-indexed and archived, and are kept up-to-date. One of the most attention-grabbing collections for me was the Saudi Arabia collection.

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

Most of my friends and co-workers don’t know that I was pursuing and specializing in an information technology degree in college but I transferred after one semester to a law school. I realized that I found myself more interested in with dealing with logic, rationality, and reasoning rather than data, quantities, and figures.

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