Introducing …Meredith Capps as the December 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

1. Where did you grow up?

My father worked in the horse racing industry, so I grew up in the Triple Crown states—New York, Kentucky, and Maryland.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

I worked at a student assistant in the Cataloging & Serials department in the law library at George Washington University when I was an undergraduate student at GW and loved it.  I found myself practicing at a big firm in DC for a number of years after I graduated from law school (at Vanderbilt!), but periodically found myself researching library science programs.  When I was ready to take a step back from legal practice, I finally acknowledged that nagging feeling that I should, perhaps, consider librarianship.  I’m fortunate that my husband (who is also a lawyer) thought it was a fantastic, and not entirely, crazy idea, and supported me as I went back to school and made the transition.

3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?

I took several international law courses whilst getting my JD at Vanderbilt—public international law, EU law, human rights, international civil litigation.  The government investigations I helped to manage were almost entirely domestic in scope, so I’m excited that librarianship is now affording me the opportunity to immerse myself in FCIL.

4. Who is your current employer? How long have  you worked there?

I just started working at Vanderbilt in October, so I’m very new to my current position!

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

Very, very rudimentary Spanish.  So rudimentary as to hardly be worth mentioning.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

I don’t know that quitting something can be considered an “achievement,” but it certainly took a lot of courage and planning to quit practicing and try something new professionally.  I know many readers of this publication have done the same, and probably also experienced sleepless nights and periodic nausea.   In general I’ve found that the times I helped people in concrete ways were the most personally satisfying, even when they weren’t the most challenging work.  I managed some complex investigations when I was practicing law that required patience, creativity, and long hours, but the client I remember most fondly was a pro bono asylum client, and I’m always happy when a student is appreciative of my help and returns for advice.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Sweets.  Peanut Butter M&Ms and anything covered in very sugary frosting, such as grocery store sheet cake.

8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?

This could be an entire blog post!  Most recently noted myself doing this to Dancing Queen by ABBA.

9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?

See question 5—I really wish that I had taken language instruction more seriously.  I also wish that I could play the piano, and did not experience anxiety when faced with numbers.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?

Some kind of movement.  I’m a certified Pilates instructor and try to get on the equipment a few times a week, but also enjoy yoga and long walks or hiking.  I have foot and ankle issues from years of ballet/pointe, so I try to go really easy on my joints.

11. Anything else you would like to share with us?

I’m really excited to join such a welcoming (and fun) professional community.  I attended IALL’s annual conference in Atlanta last week, and it was really encouraging to meet so many wonderful people and see how many resources I’ll have available to me.

Introducing…Carlos Andrés Pagán as the November 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

Carlos Andrés Pagán (FCIL photo)

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)?

Flying planes.

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!

 

Introducing…Jessica Pierucci as the October 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

Jessica Pierucci

1. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in California. I was born in San Francisco and lived there for the first two years of my life. I then lived in other cities in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout my childhood.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career? 

I discovered law librarianship as a career path when I was working on a project under the supervision of the then dean of my law school, the UC Irvine School of Law, after graduation. I asked a couple questions of the law librarians when I came across some particularly perplexing questions in my research. I realized through these interactions that their job perfectly aligned with my interests and enjoyment of legal research. I spoke with them about my interest, and they were very supportive and encouraging.

3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law? 

My interest in foreign and international issues began in college, where I studied abroad in Namibia and Guatemala. My interest continued in law school, where I spent my first summer focusing on international human rights law and the next at a public interest immigration law firm working with clients born around the world.

4. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there? 

I am the FCIL librarian at the UC Irvine School of Law Library. I started at the Law Library in 2014 and held positions in the reference, access, and collection development departments while I worked towards my MLIS degree from the online program at San José State University.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages? 

I speak some Spanish, but would like to be more conversant. I studied Spanish during college in courses and abroad in Guatemala. During winter break of my second year of law school, I returned to Guatemala for a short Spanish language program.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement? 

I am proud of the fact that I have worked in each of the UCI Law Library’s departments—reference, access, and collection development—prior to becoming the FCIL Librarian. I was able to experience and learn the full operational and service spectrums of the Law Library and how the departments work together to help best serve students, faculty, and other patrons in my current role.

7. What is your biggest food weakness? 

Sushi tops the list for me. But the list is quite long.

8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance? 

I take Zumba fitness classes a few times a week at the gym down the street from where I live, so pretty much any song you can Zumba to!

9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)? 

Like many FCIL librarians, more language skills.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without? 

This question has me stumped. There’s nothing I can think of (besides basic necessities) that I really couldn’t go a day without. There are things I prefer to not go without though, like internet access. Related fun fact, the new 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style changes Internet to internet. I learned this from one of my colleagues at UCI Law.

11. Anything else you would like to share with us? 

I am very excited to join the FCIL community. I look forward to meeting and working with other FCIL librarians across the U.S. and the world. Please feel free to reach out any time!

Introducing…Jootaek (“Juice”) Lee as the September 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

Juice

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Seoul, Korea and moved to the U.S. in 2002.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

This was the job where I can effectively merge and apply all my various experience, education, knowledge, abilities and skills into one. I like teaching, researching, and writing.

3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?

My interest in foreign, comparative, and international law started a long time ago when I started the Master’s program in international law at Korea University College of Law in 1999. The more I learned and researched foreign, comparative, and international law, the more I became constructively interested in those.  I spent two years to finish the program after passing graduation exams and writing a dissertation on cyberspace law and its international law jurisdiction.  And I studied more on American aspects of international and comparative law through the J.D. program at the Florida State University College of Law.

4. Who is your current employer? How long have  you worked there?

I have been working for the Northeastern University School of Law for about six and half years. Previously, I had worked for the University of Miami School of Law for two years.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

Yes, I speak Korean, English, French, and a little bit of Spanish and Japanese.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

As a minority member of this American Society as a non-native immigrant Asian, I became a highly specialized foreign, comparative, and international law librarian, teaching research and doctrinal classes at a U.S. law school, and further, took many leadership positions in American Association of Law Libraries and American Society of International Law. And recently, I came in the top percent of authors on SSRN by total downloads and new downloads.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

I eat too fast and much.

8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?

It’s My Life by Bon Jovi and Amazing Grace.

9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?

I believe that I have a growth mindset, but I wish to continue to have it without being tired even if I don’t see any recognition or result soon.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?

Coffee and praying.

11. Anything else you would like to share with us?

My first child, Suemin, was born about three months ago. She is the most precious gift I got in my life.

Introducing…Tove Klovning as the August 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

ToveKlovning

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!

 

 

You’re Invited to Join the FCIL-SIS Publicity Committee!

The FCIL-SIS Publicity Committee invites you to join us for our meeting in Austin this weekend!  We will meet during the FCIL-SIS Standing Committees Joint Meeting on Sunday, July 16, at 6:15pm–6:45pm in Hilton Room 402.

We’d love to hear your ideas for blog posts, social media, conference publicity, and anything else you have to offer!  If you’re interested in blogging or in working on one or more of our other publicity initiatives, come by and find out more!

We’ll see you there!

yes-join-us

Introducing…Michael McArthur as the July 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

1. Where did you grow up? 

I spent my childhood among the beautiful vistas of Southern Utah, not far from Zion National Park.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career? 

I didn’t know it was an actual job until I had started at law school. My career path was set the instant I realized I could work in a library and teach.

3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law? 

I have always been interested in all things foreign. It often feels like each reference question related to FCIL rekindles that curiosity.

4. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there? 

I began my career at the University of Michigan Law Library and have been in Ann Arbor for 4 1/2 years.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages? 

Japanese. I was an exchange student to Japan in high school but came back feeling like I couldn’t speak a word. I promised myself I wouldn’t be satisfied with mediocre language skills so I took every opportunity available to go back and learn it properly. I ended up spending over 4 years living there and ultimately graduated with a major in Japanese.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement? 

I really feel like I am still just starting out and haven’t done anything noteworthy. That being the case, I have really enjoyed working on the IFLP Advisory Board under Marci Hoffman. Presenting at AALL last year in Chicago on Japanese primary law in English was also something to remember.

7. What is your biggest food weakness? 

Tex-Mex.

8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance? 

Oddly enough, in college I was in a show choir, so some of the songs we performed hold a soft spot for me. The reality is I enjoy singing along with just about anything that ends up on the radio.

9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)? 

I know it has been mentioned before, but the ability to travel anywhere instantaneously. Maybe not so much to explore as to live somewhere fascinating and be able to commute to work effortlessly.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you do not go a day without? 

I don’t really have any daily routines, so now I am wondering what it would be if I could choose. I will defer to the obvious I guess. I have a wonderful little family I adore and wouldn’t be able to function without them.

11. Anything else you would like to share with us? 

Thank you for including me in the FCIL spotlight. I really appreciate the profession we share. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.