Today’s interview is with Emmanuel Kwabena Owusu Amoah, a foreign law intern working with me in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress.
Describe your Background
I was born and raised in Kumasi, a bustling city in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Growing up, I had the privilege of receiving an excellent education at the Hilltop School, thanks to the joint efforts of my family and dedicated tutors. When I turned 15, I moved to Cape Coast to attend Mfantsipim School for my high school education, which provided a challenging yet enriching experience that helped shape who I am today. After high school, I returned to Kumasi to pursue my university education. Upon graduation, I moved to Accra to complete my mandatory national service. During this time, I worked as a legal assistant at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which sparked my interest in international economic law which I am pursuing in my LL.M. at Georgetown Law.
What is your professional and academic history?
I am an attorney called to the Ghana Bar after completing my professional legal training at the Ghana School of Law, where I also served as the president of the Students’ Representative Council. Prior to that, I obtained an LLB and a master’s degree in project management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. I am currently pursuing an LL.M. in general studies with a certificate in WTO & international trade studies at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
Regarding my professional experience, I have worked in private practice and for the executive and judicial branches of Ghana’s government. I began my professional legal career as a trainee associate at a law firm in Accra, Ghana. I have also served as a clerk of a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana and as a legal assistant at Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.
How would you describe your job to other people?
I work as a foreign law intern at the Global Legal Research Directorate under the supervision of Hanibal Goitom. My role involves drafting legal memoranda in response to requests from the United States Congress, as well as federal agencies and the public. In addition, I conduct comprehensive research on legal developments in English-speaking African jurisdictions and summarize my findings in informative articles for one of the Law Library’s online publications, Global Legal Monitor. I also undertake other legal research assignments to support the Law Library’s work.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
As I searched for internship opportunities, I had a clear idea of what I was looking for – a work environment aligned with my interests and professional goals. My passion for working in either an international organization or the government led me to explore various options. However, a visit to the Library of Congress with my class left a lasting impression on me. The institution’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere struck me, and I knew I wanted to be a part of this community and contribute to the essential work here.
When I learned about the opportunity to support the U.S. Congress, I was thrilled by the prospect of being able to contribute to such an important organization. Working at the Library was a chance to merge my passion for government with my growing interest in research. As the largest library and research institution globally, the Library of Congress presented a remarkable opportunity I could not pass up. I was confident that working here would allow me to improve my skills, expand my horizons, take on new challenges, and grow professionally and personally.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
The depth of its collection is awe-inspiring. With a staggering 173 million items in its collection and almost 3 million volumes in the Law Library alone, it’s hard to wrap your head around the scale of it. But what’s even more fascinating is that almost every book and legal resource you could think of can be found here. When conducting research, I’ve been amazed at the vast array of resources available. In my own experience, if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, it’s unlikely that you’ll find it anywhere else.
Another interesting fact is that the Law Library is mandated by law to be open anytime either house of Congress is in session. This means that the library remains open during extended sessions, overnight, and even through storms and blizzards. This is a testament to the critical role of the Law Library of Congress in the functioning of the US Congress.
What is something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I am an avid soccer fan who does not miss Real Madrid matches.