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An Interview with Nabila Buhary, Foreign Law Intern

Today’s interview is with Nabila Buhary, a foreign law intern working in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress.

Describe your background.

A photo of Nabila Buhary, a foreign law intern at the Law Library of Congress.

Nabila Buhary [photo provided by Nabila Buhary].

I was born in Melbourne, Australia, and completed a bachelor of laws/bachelor of arts double degree at Monash University in Australia in 2012. I completed my practical legal training at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and was admitted to practice as an Australian lawyer and registered on the Supreme Court of Victoria roll in 2013. Initially, I worked as a refugee and immigration lawyer before moving to corporate immigration law as an associate at Fragomen Worldwide (Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP). Following this, I commenced work as a litigator at DLA Piper in the litigation and regulatory team where I specialized in public and administrative law, representing the Minister for Home Affairs in administrative law litigation at the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Federal Court of Australia. I later practiced in general insurance litigation at DLA Piper. After seven years of practice, I chose to pursue a masters of law degree at NYU; midway through the pandemic! I’m focusing my LL.M on public international law and have undertaken subjects in data law, environmental regulation, and arbitration. New York is wonderful and I am very happy to be here.

How would you describe your job to other people? 

I am interning in the Global Legal Research Directorate and assisting Kelly Buchanan (chief, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Division II) with congressional requests on foreign law issues in the Asia-Pacific region. So far, the breadth of these congressional requests has been fascinating. Normally I would have never had an opportunity to research cryptocurrency regulation in the Asia-Pacific, financial investments in Southeast Asia, or tax treaties between the U.S. and Australia. Kelly has also provided me with an opportunity to write posts for the Global Legal Monitor on topics of my choosing, which I’m very excited about. Due to the pandemic, I am working remotely from New York.

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

I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn how to provide comparative foreign law advice on issues of concern to U.S. policy makers and to draft requests from a neutral policy perspective. This is something that I have not done professionally. It has been interesting to see how Kelly approaches these requests. In particular, the scope of her research and the way the advice is targeted towards specific policy concerns (which may later be used to develop law).

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

That it is the largest law library in the world. I hope to be able to actually visit, pandemic permitting!

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

I really love sci-fi and Doctor Who, although the Doctor Who part is probably evident if you’ve connected with me on social media. 

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