CLE: The Law Library of Congress as a Resource for Immigration Practitioners


Immigration lawyers rely on definitive statements of foreign law when preparing a variety of immigration cases, including business and family petitions. The USCIS has recognized research from the Law Library of Congress as authoritative on summaries of foreign law.

The Law Library of Congress has amassed the world’s largest collection of domestic, foreign, comparative, and international law resources, including current and historical materials from practically every nation in the world. To utilize this collection, the Law Library’s Global Legal Research Directorate employs foreign and U.S. trained legal specialists and law librarians whose mission is to provide authoritative legal research for the United States Government and reference assistance to all Library of Congress users. Law Library staff responds to inquiries by sharing resources, reviewing foreign legislation, and locating current and historic, domestic and foreign statutes, court cases, and legal publications.

Law Library staff can identify almost any legal act of any country of the world and assist in locating information relevant to resolving a specific foreign law related issue. Their responses are targeted to address the specific needs of each individual requester. During the presentation, the audience will learn about LLC resources and how to request information on U.S. and foreign law needed by an immigration attorney.


Peter Roudik is an Assistant Law Librarian of Congress for Legal Research. He coordinates research on all issues of U.S., foreign, comparative, and international law for Congress and other branches of government. He also provides research on the laws of Russia and other former Soviet republics.  Before joining the Law Library in 1996, Dr. Roudik worked as a research scholar at the University of Chicago Law School, served as a legal advisor to the Russian Parliament, and taught law at the Moscow Institute of Technology.  He holds an MA from the U.S. Naval War College, a JSD from the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Science, and a JD from the State University of Moscow.  Dr. Roudik is a member of the DC Bar. He has been a guest lecturer at Howard and Tufts Universities.  He has been featured at various professional conferences and his articles on legal developments in the countries of his jurisdiction have been published in legal periodicals in the U.S. and abroad.

Barbara Bavis is the Bibliographic and Research Instruction Librarian for the Law Library of Congress. In this position, she organizes the Law Library’s legal and legislative research class offerings, provides presentations to a wide range of patrons¾congressional staff members, federal government employees, and members of the public. She also provides legal research services to patrons, both at the reference desk in the Law Library Reading Room and via the Law Library’s Ask a Librarian service. Before joining the Law Library of Congress in 2012, Ms. Bavis was a practicing attorney at LeClairRyan, a former National Law Journal Top 250 firm, where she represented clients in a range of immigration, labor and employment, and civil cases. Ms. Bavis then went on to provide reference services for the Department of Justice Libraries system before serving as the Faculty Services Librarian at Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law. There, she was responsible for assisting faculty members with the publication process, administrating the Student Research Assistant Program, and teaching in the Lawyering Skills Program, where she provided classes on legal research and writing. Ms. Bavis holds a BA in history from Duke University, a JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law, and an MSLS with a specialization in law librarianship from Catholic University. She is an associate member of the Virginia State Bar.

Tariq Ahmad has provided legal research reports and memos for congressional staff and committees, executive branch agencies, the federal judiciary, and the general public since joining the Law Library of Congress in 2010.  His research work covers mostly South Asian common law jurisdictions, particularly India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. He also covers select  Caribbean countries.  He takes a particular research interest in religion and law issues in South Asia and has drafted reports on the validity of Islamic and Hindu marriages in Pakistan and India, and on blasphemy and anticonversion laws in the region.  Examples of Mr. Ahmad’s contributions to recent Law Library reports include State Anti-conversion Laws in India (Oct. 2018), Regulation of Artificial Intelligence (multiple countries) (Jan. 2019), Protection of Indigenous Heritage: Canada (Mar. 2019), and Blasphemy and Related Laws (multiple countries) (Jan. 2017). He has also written a number of blog posts for the Law Library, including FALQs: Article 370 and the Removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s Special Status, FALQs: Beef Bans in India, and FALQs: Proposals to Reform Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws. He served as a panelist at several American Association of Law Libraries conferences.  Mr. Ahmad holds an LLM degree in International Law from American University’s Washington College of Law and an LLB from University College London.  He also holds a BA in Political Science from Ohio State University.

Event Date/Time

Tuesday, January, 31 2023, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Event Location

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