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An Interview with Baptiste Beurrier, Foreign Law Intern

Today’s interview is with Baptiste Beurrier, a foreign law intern working in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress under the supervision of Nicolas Boring, the foreign law specialist covering French-speaking jurisdictions.

Baptiste Beurrier standing with a wrought-iron fence and stairs leading up to an enclosure with a bell in the background.

Baptiste Beurrier. Photo by Baptiste Beurrier.

Describe your background.

I was born and raised in Bordeaux, a city in Southwest France. My paternal grandparents lived in a village in the countryside, while my maternal grandparents had chosen the coast. I grew up between the country and the sea air! I have always been eager to discover new things, and I think that is why I decided two years ago to leave France to pursue my studies in Montreal.

What is your academic/professional history?

I obtained my undergraduate degree in law at the University of Bordeaux. During the last year, I specialized in public international law, which led me to pursue my studies in this field in Montreal. I am completing an LL.M in public international law at the University of Montreal. In addition to the courses, I participated in the Jessup international law moot court, for which I studied a fictitious case in public international law.

This opportunity motivated me to continue my efforts in the study of this field and hope to one day advance in it. I am proud to be able to work with the Global Legal Research Directorate, and I hope that it will strengthen my research and writing skills to achieve this goal.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am interning in the Global Legal Research Directorate and assisting Nicolas Boring with requests from the United States Congress, federal agencies, and the general public. I provide answers to legal questions for French-speaking jurisdictions. I have studied several legal systems of sub-Saharan African countries, but also of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. In addition, I write articles for the Global Legal Monitor on legal news in these same francophone countries.

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

I became aware of the internship position through my school’s career office. In the meantime, one of my dear friends, an ex-foreign law intern at the Global Legal Research Directorate, told me how this internship has been a tremendous opportunity to refine his research and writing skills and expand his legal knowledge. I knew providing comparative foreign law advice on issues of concern to U.S. policymakers was an opportunity I could not pass on. It was a bit stressful at first, but with the supervision of Nicolas Boring, I feel more confident after each report and request I write.

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

One of the most surprising facts I learned is the existence of a railroad for books between the Capitol and the Law Library for more than a century. Books were crossing the street by being pulled by a cable through the passageway like a cable car! Even though today a pedestrian tunnel connects the buildings and has replaced it, it is funny to imagine people walking without knowing there was a whole life of books running back and forth under their feet!

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

I worked in several restaurants as a cook during my high school and undergraduate years. According to my chefs, I was right to choose the law!

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