Using Spanish and a legal career together

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upandup
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Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby upandup » Wed May 18, 2011 6:08 pm

I'm looking for pretty much any and all kinds of ideas/help/brainstorming on this issue of mine, so anything you've got, I'd love to hear it.

I just graduated with a 3.91 GPA and am taking the LSAT in June (I know, I know, cue the people who tell me to come back with an LSAT score, but what I'm looking for here isn't necessarily limited by an LSAT score), and have been scoring in the low-mid 160s on practice tests. What I ideally would like to do with a legal career is to combine it with Spanish to essentially be a bilingual attorney; I have an extensive love of the language and would really like to be able to continue to use it in my future career.

The question, then, is this: What exactly is the best way to go about doing this?

I've looked for programs that really tailor to this, and so far the only one I have been able to find is the University of Denver's. Could anyone else help me out with other programs/classes at other schools that would be relevant? Is this even the best route to look into? Or if I still wanted to do this, are there other, better ways of ultimately reaching what I want to do, i.e. using Spanish with my legal career? I'm sure this is a bit of an odd question and as there is no real definitive way to go about this (I think!), ideas from all over are greatly appreciated.

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Ikki
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Ikki » Wed May 18, 2011 6:33 pm

What exactly do you want to do with your Spanish skills? Do you want to open your own practice right after law school? If you play your cards right and score in the high 160s low 170s, you are pretty much T14 secure, and you'll have a good shot at a T6.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 18, 2011 7:50 pm

DA's offices or public defender. Open up your own general practice & your income should soon equal that of biglaw associates.

The University of Denver program is undergoing revision. I spoke with Denver's former law dean who heads the Lawering in Spanish Program & had difficulty getting straight answers to my questions. Great concept, but poor leadership, in my opinion.

DeepSeaLaw
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby DeepSeaLaw » Thu May 19, 2011 9:48 am

CanadianWolf wrote:. Open up your own general practice & your income should soon equal that of biglaw associates.



Yes, it's that easy.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 19, 2011 10:09 am

Not easy--just a lot of demand. (But thanks for your insight.) Obviously, business & marketing skills are necessary.

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Pricer
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Pricer » Thu May 19, 2011 1:13 pm


formerbiglawpartner
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby formerbiglawpartner » Thu May 19, 2011 1:25 pm

Great article about UT, Pricer. Just to expand, Dean Sagar has said that they are looking into similar programs in Argentina, Colombia and Brazil. Most major Texas firms have Latin American practice groups. With the enormous elephant field they've discovered offshore Brazil, Spanish and Portuguese would be real pluses for any corporate/energy attorney.

LawSchoolPorFavor
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby LawSchoolPorFavor » Thu May 19, 2011 1:35 pm

UColorado- Boulder offers a special May-mester class called "Speaking Spanish in the profession" or something like that. The program is specifically targeted at teaching Spanish speakers how to navigate the legal world in a different language. It's an extremely unique program and from what I understand, the program is a result of Boulder law students requesting it. (It's one of the reasons I chose Boulder)

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vanwinkle
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby vanwinkle » Thu May 19, 2011 1:47 pm

Possibilities I can think of:

1) DA/PD. There are job listings in some places where they say "Bilingual preferred" and from what I understand some will only consider people who don't speak Spanish if a Spanish-speaker is totally unavailable. It depends on how bilingual the general population is there; closer to the southern border you'll see more jobs like this.

2) Civil legal aid services. These places love bilingual people since a lot of disadvantaged people needing help are non-English-speaking or ESL. Again, how much it matters depends on where you're looking to go.

3) Immigration law. Some of these jobs are provided by legal aid, others by private lawyers who specialize in providing immigration law services. You shouldn't consider it immediately out of law school, but after a few years and paying down your debt, you could possibly join a small group of lawyers somewhere or even start your own, and provide legal services in a Latino community somewhere.

I think it doesn't matter so much which school you go to specifically. A law degree is a law degree, no matter where you get it. What matters most is 1) what your resume looks like (which includes your Spanish fluency and any work you do while in law school) and 2) where you go to school (both in terms of prestige/ranking and geographic location). Don't let specific programs sway you too much; you'd be far better off (for example) going to a school with a full scholarship than going to a similarly-ranked one with some kind of "lawyering in Spanish" program.

Depending on what you want to do and where you get in, you should either consider going to a school that gives you a large scholarship and relying on your bilingual fluency to help find work, or go to the highest-ranked school possible with a plan to manage your debt using LRAP while working PI jobs that require bilingual attorneys. In either case, getting the best possible LSAT score would help you with both possibilities, so you should study hard for the LSAT and aim for the highest possible score. With your GPA and a high LSAT you can get full scholarships to a number of respectable schools, and likely some T14 acceptances.

tspence13
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby tspence13 » Thu May 19, 2011 2:16 pm

LawSchoolPorFavor wrote:UColorado- Boulder offers a special May-mester class called "Speaking Spanish in the profession" or something like that. The program is specifically targeted at teaching Spanish speakers how to navigate the legal world in a different language. It's an extremely unique program and from what I understand, the program is a result of Boulder law students requesting it. (It's one of the reasons I chose Boulder)



I study at CU for undergrad and it is a really fantastic school for hispanohablantes. The Spanish Department is very coherent and almost all of the professors are nativos. Also, there is a study abroad option in Barcelona for law students!

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Grizz
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Grizz » Thu May 19, 2011 2:24 pm

tspence13 wrote:
LawSchoolPorFavor wrote:UColorado- Boulder offers a special May-mester class called "Speaking Spanish in the profession" or something like that. The program is specifically targeted at teaching Spanish speakers how to navigate the legal world in a different language. It's an extremely unique program and from what I understand, the program is a result of Boulder law students requesting it. (It's one of the reasons I chose Boulder)



I study at CU for undergrad and it is a really fantastic school for hispanohablantes. The Spanish Department is very coherent and almost all of the professors are nativos. Also, there is a study abroad option in Barcelona for law students!


Summer jobs and internships > study abroad.

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Ikki
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Ikki » Thu May 19, 2011 2:43 pm

Pricer wrote:http://www.utexas.edu/law/magazine/2011/03/07/utlaw-announces-dual-degree-program-with-itam/


:shock:
I did not know this, ITAM's is up there with Tec de Monterrey and UNAM.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 19, 2011 2:55 pm

International banking. Some high ranking positions--many with diplomatic status--require English/Spanish fluency & engineering or law degrees.

Prestigious legal positions in DC & NYC, also.

But, as I have noted in earlier posts, Portuguese is also sought for many positions abroad with US & European law firms.

International oil companies.

P.S. Denver's "Lawyering in Spanish Program" seemed to be designed for small firm practices dealing with employment, immigration, criminal, family law, negotiation & routine business matters. The entire program consists, or consisted, of 5 or 6 law courses taught in Spanish. Currently, only one or two courses are available, however.

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Pricer
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Pricer » Fri May 20, 2011 9:26 am

Ikki wrote:
Pricer wrote:http://www.utexas.edu/law/magazine/2011/03/07/utlaw-announces-dual-degree-program-with-itam/


:shock:
I did not know this, ITAM's is up there with Tec de Monterrey and UNAM.


Yeah, Dean Sager told us about this at the OMV (smaller ASD) that I went to.

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Horchata
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Horchata » Fri May 20, 2011 12:34 pm

Ikki wrote:
Pricer wrote:http://www.utexas.edu/law/magazine/2011/03/07/utlaw-announces-dual-degree-program-with-itam/


:shock:
I did not know this, ITAM's is up there with Tec de Monterrey and UNAM.


clearly anti-UAG trolling jajaja NTC

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Ikki
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Ikki » Fri May 20, 2011 7:49 pm

Horchata wrote:
Ikki wrote:
Pricer wrote:http://www.utexas.edu/law/magazine/2011/03/07/utlaw-announces-dual-degree-program-with-itam/


:shock:
I did not know this, ITAM's is up there with Tec de Monterrey and UNAM.


clearly anti-UAG trolling jajaja NTC


hahahaha
Didn't you apply to UT? Te imaginas wey? Tener una Lic. en Derecho and a J.D?

Pricer wrote:
Yeah, Dean Sager told us about this at the OMV (smaller ASD) that I went to.


Well, if you know Spanish and have the least interest in international transactional law, this is a great program.

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Grizz
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Grizz » Fri May 20, 2011 7:52 pm

Image

upandup
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby upandup » Sat May 21, 2011 10:06 am

Thanks so much for all of your help, and especially the insight into that UT program. If anyone has anything else, please post!

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Horchata
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Re: Using Spanish and a legal career together

Postby Horchata » Sat May 21, 2011 10:59 am

Ikki wrote:
Horchata wrote:
Ikki wrote:
Pricer wrote:http://www.utexas.edu/law/magazine/2011/03/07/utlaw-announces-dual-degree-program-with-itam/


:shock:
I did not know this, ITAM's is up there with Tec de Monterrey and UNAM.


clearly anti-UAG trolling jajaja NTC


hahahaha
Didn't you apply to UT? Te imaginas wey? Tener una Lic. en Derecho and a J.D?

Pricer wrote:
Yeah, Dean Sager told us about this at the OMV (smaller ASD) that I went to.


Well, if you know Spanish and have the least interest in international transactional law, this is a great program.


Yeah, it sounds legit. They sent me a fee waiver, but were also the first ones to reject me...why they sent me a fee waiver, I have no idea. That's what happens when you reserve approx 70% of the class for Texas residents. I wish some Berk had that same system.




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