1. Where did you grow up?
I was born, and mostly raised, in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Growing up, I also lived in North Florida (Jacksonville) and South Florida (Boca Raton), where I went to elementary school to learn English. As an adolescent, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel abroad extensively, including tours in: South America, Australia, and Europe. I count these trips as part of my upbringing because they significantly shaped and defined my development from childhood to young adult.
2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?
Between April 2013 and August 2015, I served as the Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation. From that position I was responsible for the supervision of the Academy personnel, as well as the direction of its multiple agendas, including the editing of the Academy Law Journal and the oversight of two key research projects on Puerto Rico’s legal history. The first focused on the recovery, editing, and publication of the civil sentences of the Real Audiencia Territorial de Puerto Rico, the highest court during the Spanish Regime’s presence on the Island. For the second project, I published and edited a book on the legislative records of the Cámara de Delegados de Puerto Rico, the first elected representative body of Puerto Rico. This work made me realize how a career as a legal researcher and librarian is a marvelous way to practice law and that’s when I decided to enroll in library school.
3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?
Coming from Puerto Rico, a mixed-law jurisdiction, where common law and Spanish civil law intertwine, I have always been fascinated by the study of foreign and international law.
4. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there?
I work at the amazing Boston University School of Law’s Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries! I started working there this past August and, so far, I love it!
5. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I am fluent in Spanish (native). I also read Portuguese and Catalan. I picked up Catalan while studying my Bachelor of Laws at the University of Barcelona in Catalonia and I owe learning Portuguese to my many friends from Brazil.
6. What is your most significant professional achievement?
Receiving my LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School (HLS) allowed me to work in close concert with a highly diverse group of students. I had the privilege of serving as an LL.M. Class Representative in HLS’s Student Government, and was a member of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, I was involved in numerous projects, ranging from research on faculty hiring practices to actions making HLS a safer and more inclusive environment for the LL.M. LGBT community. For my contributions, I was recognized with the Dean’s Award for Community Leadership.
7. What is your biggest food weakness?
Mofongo de Platano Verde y Maduro (traditional mashed plantains green and sweet); no doubt about it.
8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?
Suavemente from Elvis Crespo. But honestly, I dance to most salsa and merengue songs out there. I really love dancing; I guess it’s my Caribbean heritage/DNA.
9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?
10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?
Dark-roast coffee (no sugar, no milk.) If it comes from my family’s coffee plantation (located in the main mountain range in Puerto Rico), even better!
11. Anything else you would like to share with us?
I can’t wait to see you all at next year’s AALL’s Baltimore conference!