Today’s interview is with Jesús Colón Rosado, an intern in the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress through the Library of Congress Internship program (LOCI).
Describe your background.
I was raised in Cayey, a mountain town and municipality in central Puerto Rico. The city is known for its beautiful landscapes and its gastronomy. From a young age, I had the opportunity to surround myself with mentors from diverse political ideologies, which shaped my interest in public service. At the end of high school, I was chosen by the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico to participate in the Córdova & Fernós Internship Program. This program allows students to see first-hand the complex issues facing today’s policy decision makers in the U.S. Congress. Living for a semester in Washington, D.C., and working in the House of Representatives stirred a great interest for me in the federal government system.
What is your academic/professional history?
After returning from Washington, D.C., with a different perspective on the role of government and its impact, I finished my bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in comparative politics and public administration from the University of Puerto Rico. During this time, I started working in the Puerto Rico State Department and was eventually selected to serve my city as a member of the Cayey City Council. After graduating, I started my J.D. and master’s degree in public policy at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. In law school, I discovered my interest in U.S. and Puerto Rican constitutional law. I’ve worked during these past years in the Puerto Rico Legislature as a consultant and the Federal Highway Administration as a law clerk. Thanks to the Library of Congress internship program, I am now working as a global legal research intern at the Law Library.
How would you describe your job to other people?
The role of the Law Library is extensive since it provides authoritative legal research, reference, and instruction services. Because Spanish is my primary language I have the opportunity to contribute to comparative legal research assignments. Using my language skills, I investigate and write about the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where the civil and common law traditions coexist. I consider my work extremely diverse, which is one of the beautiful qualities of working in the legal field. One day I am evaluating the content of the current legislative work of Congress, and another day I am analyzing the public policies of foreign countries, all while working closely with a group of professionals with different backgrounds and stories to share.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
In general terms, it has always been a matter of admiration, especially when you consider what the Library of Congress represents for the states and territories of the United States. Although I have always had an interest in serving in government as an elected public official, being a law student broadened my perspective on ways to contribute to our public institutions. The Law Library of Congress has provided me the opportunity to cultivate that drive. Through the collection and interpretation of legal material, we are contributing to more significant and reliable access to information for members of Congress, congressional personnel, our fellow Americans, and the international community.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
Although most of my internship is done remotely, during my recent visit to the Library, I found it fascinating that even though the Law Library of Congress is an agency of the legislative branch of the U.S. government, it also serves the executive and judicial branches, as well as the general public. Therefore, by serving in the Law Library of Congress, I am contributing to the whole U.S. government.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I enjoy hosting BBQs and karaoke with friends in my free time (even though some would say I do not sing very well).
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Great interview and very impressive credentials!