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An Interview with Anne-Cathérine Stolz, Foreign Law Intern

Today’s interview is with Anne-Cathérine Stolz, a foreign law intern working with Jenny Gesley at the Global Legal Research Directorate, Law Library of Congress.

Describe your background.

I grew up in Wallbach, a very small town in Switzerland close to the German border. I got to see a lot of different sides of Switzerland as school and work took me to five different cantons (they are similar to states). I moved to Geneva in 2017 for my graduate degree and spent a semester in Washington, D.C.in the fall of 2018.

Anne-Cathérine Stolz. Photo by Kelly McKenna.

What is your academic/professional history?

I earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history of the new ages from the University of Zurich in 2017. I am currently finishing my graduate degree in international affairs with a concentration in global security from the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Last fall, I had the privilege of spending a semester at American University in Washington, D.C., where I took classes in the Peace and Conflict Resolution program.

Between finishing my bachelor’s degree and starting my graduate degree, I had the opportunity to intern with the European Union (EU) Delegation for Switzerland and Liechtenstein in Bern, where I was responsible for compiling the daily press review and managing the social media accounts. During my time in Geneva, I interned with NGO Advisor, an organization that evaluates NGOs’ performance based on criteria such as financial transparency.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am an intern for the Global Legal Research Directorate and work under the supervision of Jenny Gesley, foreign law specialist for German-speaking jurisdictions (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein) and the European Union. I conduct research for requests that we receive from the U.S. Congress, executive agencies, the federal judiciary, as well as from the public. I am also writing articles for the Global Legal Monitor and the blog of the Law Library, In Custodia Legis.

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

I wanted to work for the Law Library of Congress because institutions like the Law Library of Congress and the Library of Congress in general provide an invaluable service to society by supplying reliable information on a wide variety of topics. In a time when it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between sources that can be trusted and verified and those that cannot, the work of the library facilitates the navigation of this environment for the general public and decision-makers alike. Furthermore, although I am not a lawyer, I am fascinated by legal documents as they represent a more or less unintentional window into societies and what they value.

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

I had no idea how many people it takes to keep the Law Library running and how many different fields of employment there are. Many of the staff work behind the scenes and I think it is a pity that the general public never realizes all the work that goes into their experience with the Library. It is really impressive how well the staff knows the Library’s vast collection and the librarians can be of assistance in finding almost anything.

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

I love horses. I have been taking horseback riding lessons since my ninth birthday and I had begged my parents long before that to buy me a pony. Now that I have been moving around a lot, it would be very impractical to get a horse anytime soon. However, there is still no better way to explore nature than from the back of a horse.

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