1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Davis, a college town in northern California known for its bikes and mild hippy-dippyness. Every fall, a new crop of college students learn the hard way that you can get tickets for speeding on a bicycle and for bicycling under the influence. Davis has been in the news occasionally for its toad tunnel and experiments in squirrel birth control.
2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?
I was a political science major as an undergraduate and, like many political science majors who don’t know what to do after college, I went to law school. Fortunately, it turned out that I loved law and especially legal research. I was excited to learn that there was an actual career focused on legal research, especially since I’d had such positive experiences working at my school library in junior high.
3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?
I have dual U.S./U.K. citizenship and I grew up making occasional visits to my Dad’s family in Scotland and spent a couple of quarters in the U.K. in college. My first exposure to lawyers growing up was reading Sarah Caudwell’s wonderful Hilary Tamar murder mysteries, starring a cast of British barristers. As a result, foreign and international law was always what interested me, even before I became interested in law librarianship.
4. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there?
I’ve been at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles for almost 5 years and in the role of Foreign and International Law Librarian for almost a year. I’m fortunate that my boss, Laura Cadra, is extremely supportive of her staff and, knowing that I was interested in FCIL, transferred the FCIL title from herself to me.
5. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I don’t speak any foreign languages but I can read Spanish and I’m working on my French and German. I’ve also been trying to learn Hebrew and Arabic but, for now, my abilities are limited to slowly deciphering names of countries. Trying to learn new alphabets has definitely given me an even higher level respect for all of our Middle Eastern and Chinese LLMs.
6. What is your most significant professional achievement?
I feel like I’m still new to this career and I have a lot to accomplish! However, I’m proud of my work locating court documents and compiling legislative histories dating back to the 1800s for Professor Jennifer Rothman’s book The Right of Publicity. I’m also proud of my work writing human rights histories of countries for Loyola’s Inter-American Court of Human Rights Project.
7. What is your biggest food weakness?
I’m a huge fan of fried plantains. I like to kid myself that, because it’s a fruit, it’s sort of healthy.
8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?
Anything cheesy and top 10.
9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?
Like many previous librarians of the month, I would love to improve my foreign language skills. I also have to agree with Alyson’s wish for teleportation. It would be nice to zap myself to foreign countries without a twelve hour flight!
10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?
I’m tragically addicted to Diet Pepsi and, after many attempts to quit, I’ve only succeeded in switching to decaf.
11. Anything else you would like to share with us?
I’m very excited to have joined such a welcoming and active community and I look forward to meeting more FCIL librarians at future conferences. Please feel free to reach out if there’s anything I can do for you!
Also, one of the many good things law librarianship has brought me is my cat (pictured), who was found hiding in the bushes by the library. Today, she spends most of her time lounging around the house and trying to eat any book within reach.