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An Interview with Alexander Janvelian, Foreign Law Intern

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Today’s interview is with Alexander Janvelian, a foreign law intern. A graduate of the Whittier Law School J.D. program, Alexander is currently working toward earning an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University Law Center, specializing in International Business and Economic Law.

Alexander Janvelian standing with a gray marbled wall and a hanging red banner in the background.
Alexander Janvelian/Photo by Donna Sokol

Describe your background.

An Armenian by heritage, I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia into a conservative family who has always wanted the best for their children. When the Soviet Union was on the verge of dissolving, my parents thought it was in the best interest of our family to move to Moscow where I received most of my primary education. In 2001, my family’s journey brought us to California. I attended the University of California, San Diego where I received two B.A. degrees: one in political science and public law, and the second one in international studies. After completing my undergraduate studies, I received my law degree from Whittier Law School, graduating in the top 3% of my class. During my time in law school, I gained meaningful experience interning at a business litigation firm. This experience made me interested in continued legal education with hopes of pursuing a career in international business litigation and dispute resolution. Now, I am pursuing my LL.M. degree from Georgetown University Law Center, specializing in international business and economic law. After graduating, I hope to practice in the field of private international law either in California or in Washington D.C.

What is your academic/professional history?

During my time in law school I spent more than two years working at the Whittier Law School Law Library. I utilized the library resources to assist the legal writing department with the updating of past research assignments for first year students. Outside the library, I worked as a teaching assistant with numerous professors in the subjects of contracts, sales, and criminal law. I also worked directly with the head of the Whittier Law School’s International and Comparative Law Department in researching data for his manuscript on the elitism of the judges on the Indian Supreme Court who served from 1990-2011. For my achievements, I was selected as the 2016 Outstanding Graduating Fellow in International and Comparative Law. Additionally, I worked as a senior staff editor on the Whittier Law Review and served on the Solicitations Committee which helped select topics for publication.

How would you describe your job to other people?

Under the supervision of the director of Global Legal Research Directorate, Peter Roudik, I conduct research on requests from all three branches of the U.S. government. In addition to requested research, I follow the activities of congressional committees in the 115th Congress, as well as the activities of the executive agencies. Research topics range from foreign to domestic legal issues and cover various fields of law. Lastly, I assist in researching topics for publication in the Global Legal Monitor.

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

I had already worked at a law library in the past and have great memories from those years. That experience allowed me to become a better researcher and communicator, and helped me work closer with my law school professors. I wanted to work at the Law Library of Congress to continue sharpening my research skills and to familiarize myself even further with fields of law I am interested in.

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

I actually had no idea about the existence of the Global Legal Research Directorate. The work done by this team of legal experts is beyond fascinating and is certainly praiseworthy.

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

When I am at home I love to cook. It is a relaxing experience for me. I like to play soccer, basketball, and volleyball. I enjoy engaging in physical activity, because it gives me a positive outlook on everything else that I do. I am also a huge fan of English Premier League soccer. I’m a Manchester United fan. Go Reds!


  1. As the Dean at Whittier Law School, I am incredibly proud of Alexander and the terrific work he is now doing for the Library. He graced our campus with his talents and dedication and we wish him all good things for his future career. His many friends at Whittier celebrate his early successes.

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