A Desk Review

Now, well over half way through my summer internship at ABA ROLI, I am beginning to wrap up my projects and reflect on my work. Most of my work has entailed desk research, but I have also had the opportunities to speak to academic scholars who are well-versed in legal matters, like lay adjudication in Korea, Japan, Russia, and the U.S. 

I have also had the opportunity to work with the field office, hearing how Vietnam’s government approaches institutional changes. I have attended meetings and listened to the work that other teams are doing in Uganda, the Maldives, Argentina. I have spent many, many hours combing through articles and the Vietnamese government agencies’ websites to find out more about anti-gambling laws and anti-human trafficking efforts. I learned about the unique culture of Vietnam’s bureaucracy and ABA ROLI’s procedures to accommodate it, work with it, and work within it. I was told about Leahy vetting procedures. I learned acronyms… a lot of acronyms.

Learning all these “things” (to put it broadly, I would say) has been extraordinary. More extraordinary, however, has been listening to these experts, program officers, advisors, and attorneys share a pure, unbridled enthusiasm for the rule of law. 

Hearing others’ enthusiasm for my small slice of participation makes my enjoyment in my work more complete somehow. I am grateful I was able to step in this summer and contribute a small portion of my own doing to the advancement of the rule of law abroad. From my desk in Richmond, Virginia, I feel like I have been introduced to so much and been able to contribute positively to processes ongoing on the other side of the world.