How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

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AlabamaIceman
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How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby AlabamaIceman » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:14 pm

I'm what I would call "low-end fluent" in Spanish right now, I'm sure with some polish, I could have my functional use of the language up to par for communicating in a professional environment. Same goes for my French, but it's a bit further behind.

What's the best way to use this in terms of a law school? As far as applying goes, should I just let it sit on my résumé and nothing else, or try to find a way to not-so-subtly work it into my personal statement?

Al otro lado, once I do get into a good school (my desire is to head to the west coast and study corporate/contract law) how would I leverage any skills like that in the competitive market of internships and jobs? I have no great desire to practice immigration law, and that's the first thing that jumps out at me... especially if I end up in SoCal.

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vanwinkle
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:23 pm

I suppose you're pondering the question I'm about to ask anyway, but perhaps not phrased as bluntly as this: What are you planning to do that requires Spanish?

Much of corporate/contract law in the U.S. is going to be conducted in English. Even being in CA, where there's a large Spanish-speaking corporation, you have to keep in mind that the bulk of work at law firms will be for corporations and entities that tend to be English-only in their business and interactions.

It's possible you could find an employer that specializes enough in international transactions with Mexico and/or South America that Spanish skills are useful, but I have a feeling that's fairly narrow niche. (Then again, you may have an advantage in being one of the few people who can adequately fill that niche, if you also bring the necessary academic qualifications.) Otherwise... I suspect it won't matter much.

You could leverage it to do PI work for Spanish-speaking indigents, but that doesn't sound like your primary interest.

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Fred_McGriff
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby Fred_McGriff » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:25 pm

Sprinkle ñ's liberally throughout your personal statement.

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AlabamaIceman
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby AlabamaIceman » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:26 pm

Fred_McGriff wrote:Sprinkle ñ's liberally throughout your personal statement.


Mmm, trust me, when typing a message to wish a native speaker happy birthday, it's WELL worth it to find out how to type the ñ in "cumpleaños."

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zonto
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby zonto » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:20 pm

Did you just take classes and learn some Spanish and French or were you involved in significant service experiences in rural Spanish- or French-speaking towns that gave you real world experience and a different perspective on life?

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AlabamaIceman
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby AlabamaIceman » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:09 am

zonto wrote:Did you just take classes and learn some Spanish and French or were you involved in significant service experiences in rural Spanish- or French-speaking towns that gave you real world experience and a different perspective on life?


The bulk of my initial exposure to the language was through higher education, but I have devoted a period of several weeks out of each of the last 4 years volunteering in the barrio in Puerto Rico, which allowed me to both gain first-hand exposure to a unique culture and their dialect. As for French, sadly the sum total of my exposure outside of classrooms is several weekend trips to Montreal.

How that transfers to the law world I have no idea, but I do know that my potential interest in a language is definitely outside of the classroom.

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Grizz
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby Grizz » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:18 am

--ImageRemoved--

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AlabamaIceman
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby AlabamaIceman » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:35 am

rad law wrote:


lulz.

Que chingón.

BeenDidThat
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby BeenDidThat » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:42 am

It really depends on if you're trying to go BigLaw or not. If you do anything dealing with the "common man", such as employment, immigration (I know you said you have little interest in this), personal injury, housing, etc., it will help you out in a place with a large Mexican-American population like SoCal or Texas. Law is a service industry, and if you're serving individuals rather than large, sophisticated corporate clients, you'll be able to communicate with a larger segment of the population than someone who doesn't speak Spanish. That's a big selling point. (See: Census 2010)

If you just want BigLaw, it won't make a huge difference, though some firms and NGO's specifically seek Spanish-speakers.

BeachandRun23
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby BeachandRun23 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:08 am

BeenDidThat wrote:It really depends on if you're trying to go BigLaw or not. If you do anything dealing with the "common man", such as employment, immigration (I know you said you have little interest in this), personal injury, housing, etc., it will help you out in a place with a large Mexican-American population like SoCal or Texas. Law is a service industry, and if you're serving individuals rather than large, sophisticated corporate clients, you'll be able to communicate with a larger segment of the population than someone who doesn't speak Spanish. That's a big selling point. (See: Census 2010)

If you just want BigLaw, it won't make a huge difference, though some firms and NGO's specifically seek Spanish-speakers.


This. It should help you market yourself to small firms. Just looking at paralegal job listings, there are so many small firms that say spanish a plus, or spanish required. So im sure small firms like this definitely want their attorneys to know spanish so they can better communicate with clients. But for biglaw, I dont think it really helps much.

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Ikki
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby Ikki » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:16 pm

Diles que eres raza del Cartel de Sinaloa y de la Eme, that should do the trick.

blsingindisguise
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:38 pm

I see the law firm of Abogado & Notario in your future.

aliarrow
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby aliarrow » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:42 pm

¿Tienes trabajos?

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:56 pm

Spanish/English fluency is sought after by prosecutors & defense attorneys as well as by a variety of private firms.

Legal documents tend to be in English, Portuguese or Spanish although Chinese is also becoming sought after. Several of the world's most respected law firms are opening offices in Brazil to take advantage of client needs in that booming economy (one of the BRIC nations= Brazil, Russia, India & China).

If you are truly fluent in both English & Spanish, you will be surprised at the opportunities offered. If you are trilingual fluent in English & Spanish & Portugeuse and can function well in a sophisticated international business practice & are willing to live abroad, you should have very financially rewarding opportunities with a law degree and/or MBA.

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Ikki
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby Ikki » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:00 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Spanish/English fluency is sought after by prosecutors & defense attorneys as well as by a variety of private firms.

Legal documents tend to be in English, Portuguese or Spanish although Chinese is also becoming sought after. Several of the world's most respected law firms are opening offices in Brazil to take advantage of client needs in that booming economy (one of the BRIC nations= Brazil, Russia, India & China).

If you are truly fluent in both English & Spanish, you will be surprised at the opportunities offered. If you are trilingual fluent in English & Spanish & Portugeuse and can function well in a sophisticated international business practice & are willing to live abroad, you should have very financially rewarding opportunities with a law degree and/or MBA.


If you can write and speak Spanish at the native level, you can pick up Portuguese pretty quickly.

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Ikki
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby Ikki » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:00 pm

aliarrow wrote:¿Tienes trabajos?


Escribe bien, wey...

blsingindisguise
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:01 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Spanish/English fluency is sought after by prosecutors & defense attorneys as well as by a variety of private firms.

Legal documents tend to be in English, Portuguese or Spanish although Chinese is also becoming sought after. Several of the world's most respected law firms are opening offices in Brazil to take advantage of client needs in that booming economy (one of the BRIC nations= Brazil, Russia, India & China).

If you are truly fluent in both English & Spanish, you will be surprised at the opportunities offered. If you are trilingual fluent in English & Spanish & Portugeuse and can function well in a sophisticated international business practice & are willing to live abroad, you should have very financially rewarding opportunities with a law degree and/or MBA.


So, how many law schools are you still waiting to hear from?

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:03 pm

I am not sure as to whether or not the above question is directed to me. If so, the answer is none as I completed law school a long time ago.

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kapachino
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby kapachino » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:04 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I suppose you're pondering the question I'm about to ask anyway, but perhaps not phrased as bluntly as this: What are you planning to do that requires Spanish?

Much of corporate/contract law in the U.S. is going to be conducted in English. Even being in CA, where there's a large Spanish-speaking corporation, you have to keep in mind that the bulk of work at law firms will be for corporations and entities that tend to be English-only in their business and interactions.

It's possible you could find an employer that specializes enough in international transactions with Mexico and/or South America that Spanish skills are useful, but I have a feeling that's fairly narrow niche. (Then again, you may have an advantage in being one of the few people who can adequately fill that niche, if you also bring the necessary academic qualifications.) Otherwise... I suspect it won't matter much.

You could leverage it to do PI work for Spanish-speaking indigents, but that doesn't sound like your primary interest.





Ditto for Arabic and Mandarin Chinese? I started learning them since I'd like to into the Foreign Service, but wonder if I could use them in private practice as well.

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kapachino
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby kapachino » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:06 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:I see the law firm of Abogado & Notario in your future.




That's just mean.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:11 pm

@IKKI: This is not my experience. Those fluent in Portugeuse seem more adept at "handling" Spanish than vice-versa. In fact many English/Spanish fluent acquaintances have remarked at the difficulty of handling even non-sophisticated conversations in Portugeuse. Spanish fluency does, however, allow for easy transition (and translation) into Italian, based on my limited experience.

I am aware that most universities Spanish departments are "Spanish & Portugeuse", but that may be due to geographical proximity in the Iberian Peninsula & in South America.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:14 pm

From my experience, a lot of job applications ask your fluency in different languages. That being said, the fact that you speak Spanish and French is not necessarily going to make you stand out amongst a crowd of some of the most educated collection of students in the States.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:17 pm

Depends upon the firm & position. French, I haven't seen, but several major US city DA's offices will closely examine your resume if Spanish/English fluency is listed. Sometimes it is a job requirement, as well as with Portugeuse for private firms for their Brazilian offices.

French, Russian & German are not in demand to my knowledge--although I have heard of German employers recruiting US law students doing telephone interviews in German to prove spoken fluency.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:28 pm

Also, if claiming fluency in Spanish on your resume, don't be surprised if much of your interview is conducted in that language.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: How to market/use my Spanish skills when applying or in LS?

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:30 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Also, if claiming fluency in Spanish on your resume, don't be surprised if much of your interview is conducted in that language.

+1




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