1.Where did you grow up?
I grew up in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Norway. I am Norwegian, but spent my childhood years in Asia due to my father’s work in the United Nations. I am thankful for having been given an opportunity at a young age to discover new countries and languages, while also learning to accept various cultures and differences.
2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?
Good question. I did not. It chose me! I am going to blame this career choice on my mentor, Paul D. Callister, who encouraged me to pursue a career in FCIL law librarianship.
Thanks to my mentor I ended up applying to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s M.S. degree in library and information science after graduating with an LL.M. degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2001. I was awarded a full merit scholarship which contributed to my interested in learning more about this profession.
I love all aspects of my job and have never had a boring day at work since I started working at Washington University. I am a research facilitator, lecturer in law, a mentor, a speaker, supervisor and colleague. I feel fortunate that my job includes both administrative duties as well as teaching duties.
3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?
I developed an interest at a very young age because of my father’s professional career with the United Nations.
4. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there?
My current employer is Washington University School of Law. I have worked here since June of 2002. I was first I hired as Access Services/Government Documents Librarian & Lecturer in Law. In 2009, I transitioned into the position as the law school’s FCIL Law Librarian & Lecturer in Law.
5. Do you speak any foreign languages?
Give me a couple of days in any country in the world and I can guarantee that I will be able to have a meaningful conversation with the people around me! I have always loved learning languages and love traveling. In my early twenties I was a solo globetrotter. I am bilingual in English and Norwegian, fluent in Swedish and Danish and have limited proficiency in Icelandic. However written Icelandic is easier to understand than spoken Icelandic. Having lived in the US for many years I will need a couple of days in France and Germany to brush-up both my French and German language skills. I can understand and use familiar everyday expressions in Turkish and Arabic. When I was a little girl I was able to communicate in Hindi, Malay and Urdu.
6. What is your most significant professional achievement?
My ability to multi-task and take on new responsibilities when called for!
As the law school’s foreign, comparative, and international law subject specialist, I oversee collection development, purchases and library services for these collections. However, I also oversee two separate Federal and State Government Depository Collections as the both their coordinator and subject specialist. (I recently assumed responsibility as the university wide Federal and State Depository coordination in addition to my recent responsibilities as the law school’s Federal and State Depository collection coordinator and specialist).
Over the years I have published several legal research guides on both American, international, and foreign legal research methodology and had speaker opportunities both in the US and abroad. I have a law degree and a post specialization in American law from the University of Bergen in Norway and a Master of Law and Master of Science from University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
My job also includes teaching responsibilities. I am a lecturer in law at the law school and in this capacity I teach a one year American Legal Research Methodology class to first year law students and offer an eight hour legal workshop to JSD students (doctoral students) and visiting scholars. I also give legal research talks in law school seminar classes and recently started supervising Ph.D. dissertations.
7. What is your biggest food weakness?
I cannot live without fruits! At home we always have multiple types of fruits available for anyone to grab. Sometimes you will find me turn some of these goodies into delicious a jam, juice, snack or dessert.
8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?
Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?
I would love to be able to play a musical instrument and compose songs. Fortunately, my daughter has this ability. She currently has 4 songs on iTunes and on Spotify, and has released 2 music videos on YouTube thanks to a music producer in Texas who encouraged her to pursue this field as singer, songwriter and composer Sema Elin.
I am currently reading many books on artist management and the music industry. I must admit that I have enjoyed learning about the music industry from a potential music management perspective. A new song and music video is in the works.
10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?
Getting up early in the morning! I am totally a morning person.
11. Anything else you would like to share with us?
The ASIL Midyear Meeting will be at Washington University School of Law October 26- 28 (2017). Make sure to save the date and swing by my neck of the woods!