GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

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GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:00 am

GULC rising 2L here. Anyone know what the situation is for international firms? I hear London is prestige-whorey, but Asia is easier.

I have a ton of international experience, as well as fluency in 2 marketable foreign languages, including Chinese. I also have shitty grades (just above bottom 1/3 of the class).

Should I bid on prestige firms that have international offices? Or would that be a waste? Should I mass mail them instead? Which markets would be easiest?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:30 am

just mass mail, although i think they prefer someone with post-JD experiences.

do you read those foreign languages too? I doubt that just speaking it will be of help. I know a guy from a T25 who speaks fluent chinese and who spent a year teaching in beijing. he's out of luck completely. you are from georgetown and so are in a better position, though.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:52 am

OP: "Fluency in Chinese" ? This applies to reading & writing, but your dialect should also be noted.

P.S. What are your two marketable foreign languages ?

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:38 pm

Go big on Asia. There are more SA spots in US/UK firms in China than there are T14 grads who speak Chinese and want to go to China. I know someone who had terrible grades (like bottom 10% at a CCN) who spoke Chinese and got multiple biglaw offers for various US and UK firm offices in Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong.

Depending on the other languages, they could also help. Portuguese is especially helpful as a lot of firms are opening offices in Brazil, and Korean might be appealing since many firms are now preparing to open their first offices in South Korea after the government there lifted its ban on foreign practitioners.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:50 pm

Offers from Shanghai, Beijing & Hong Kong would require fluency in two dialects ( Mandarin & Cantonese).

Agree that Portuguese will get offers in Brazil with US firms.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:51 pm

Fluency means reading and writing right? Does being fluent in speaking the language count at all?

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:55 pm

if you are very good (great grades) you don't need to know a word of chinese to get an offer.

don't overestimate the ease in getting an offer in one of those offices. they prefer people who read and write chinese like a native does because that level of proficiency is required in document review/due diligence work. many americans who know chinese only speak the language.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby IAFG » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:00 pm

I don't think bottom 1/3 people can really "waste" bids on anything other than V20s. In your case, bidding the fuck out of international offices is really credited. Also, extensive massmailing.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:01 pm

by the way, is it even possible to be very fluent in the language without knowing how to write or read it?
don't overestimate your level of competence.
I haven't learned chinese and I have no idea at all.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby de5igual » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Fluency means reading and writing right? Does being fluent in speaking the language count at all?


it may count a little, but without reading/writing, i don't think you're as fluent speaking it as you think you are. a good test would be if you were handed a NY Times article. would you be able to translate it without stumbling and substituting English words?

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby didi » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:11 pm

f0bolous wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Fluency means reading and writing right? Does being fluent in speaking the language count at all?


it may count a little, but without reading/writing, i don't think you're as fluent speaking it as you think you are



exactly.... unless you are one of those American-born chinese who were taught to speak since you were a kid but never practice writing or reading it..

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:13 pm

Fluency usually means reading, writing & speaking unless specified otherwise. With respect to Chinese, reading & writing is the same language but speaking has many different dialects. Hong Kong uses Cantonese whereas Beijing & Shanghai use Mandarin. Other parts of China speak entirely different dialects.

Spanish doesn't work for all of Spain. In Barcelona, the language is Catalan, for example.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby de5igual » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:15 pm

didi wrote:
f0bolous wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Fluency means reading and writing right? Does being fluent in speaking the language count at all?


it may count a little, but without reading/writing, i don't think you're as fluent speaking it as you think you are



exactly.... unless you are one of those American-born chinese who were taught to speak since you were a kid but never practice writing or reading it..


even then, the vocabulary would be severely lacking. it's like asking someone with a kindergartener level language skills to do legal work.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby didi » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:18 pm

really?! are they that bad?!

You are right about the kindergarten-level-doing-legal-work though. I spent several years learning french but I could not use it professionally and therefore never put it in my firm biography

edit: by the way, I am sure a few ABCs I know do not hold themselves to such a high standard like you and canadianwolf do. I doubt they read much chinese. Yet they also put 'chinese' in their biographies.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby cantaboot » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:34 pm

我覺得不懂中文又強裝懂的,真的很討厭! :evil:

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:11 am

Bid 'em. I'm a GULC bottom 1/3er (and that's being generous) with a V100 SA, so it's not a waste of your time to try.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:08 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Fluency usually means reading, writing & speaking unless specified otherwise. With respect to Chinese, reading & writing is the same language but speaking has many different dialects. Hong Kong uses Cantonese whereas Beijing & Shanghai use Mandarin. Other parts of China speak entirely different dialects.

Spanish doesn't work for all of Spain. In Barcelona, the language is Catalan, for example.




This is very true. I had to do legal-specific reading & writing training to be confident enough to put it on my resume. However, if you are fluent in reading & writing in any of Korean, Japanese, or Manda Chinese, you are good with the character part since they share chinese character for more expertise related words - given you know the grammars.

I know speak fluent Korean & Japanese. But my Manda Chinese speaking ability is middle school lev. but my reading and writing for all three languages are good - native fluency in Korean & Japanese, and legal specific in Manda Chinese. I also semi-speak Xibe language and a little Machu language - there are only 70 of us in the world with only 20 speaking with native fluency - which I am thinking to use as a diversity booster.

I love learning language and I am thinking I should add another to my resume. what language is best for an international corporate law?

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:11 am

English.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:14 am

CanadianWolf wrote:English.


true. i only speak a little of that. and my reading and writing sucks.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:17 am

English/Spanish/Portuguese combination as well as English/ Chinese with either Mandarin or Cantonese dialect. Jobs available overseas with English/Japanese as well.

Russian tends to be useless as almost all educated Russians are fluent in English.

Civil law countries: French/English for France. Lots of opportunities for McGill law graduates.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:21 am

CanadianWolf wrote:English/Spanish/Portuguese combination as well as English/ Chinese with either Mandarin or Cantonese dialect. Jobs available overseas with English/Japanese as well.

Russian tends to be useless as almost all educated Russians are fluent in English.

Civil law countries: French/English for France. Lots of opportunities for McGill law graduates.



Thanks!!

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:22 am

OP here. Thanks everyone!

I spent the first few years of my life in Taiwan, so my Mandarin is near-flawless. However, my reading/writing skills... I actually had an internship w/a large law firm in China this summer, so I know that my Chinese is good enough for inter-office communication and reading docs w/Google Translate.

Guess I'll be bidding and mass mailing all the US/UK firms in Chinese-speaking countries. I would prefer a US job next summer, but looks like my grades will force me to search farther out.

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:35 pm

I was born in the U.S. but attended Chinese school from k-12. I can speak Chinese more or less fluently. Reading and writing requires heavy reliance on a dictionary.

On my resume, I listed "Mandarin - Fluent." On my first day of SA at V10 last year, I wasasked by a partner to translate an antitrust document on the spot. Could not do it. Later, I was handed a 100 page long, highly technical document and told to look for and translate portions that discussed a specific manufacturing process. That I did do, but it took much, much longer than they expected. I was paranoid the whole summer about getting no-offered for misrepresenting myself on my resume.

Got an offer, but lesson learned is do NOT put "fluent" unless you are fluent in speaking, reading, and writing. My resume now says "Fluent in Speaking."

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:44 pm

The level below "fluent" is "proficient".

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Re: GULC, bottom 1/3, languages. Worth it to bid int'l BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:I was born in the U.S. but attended Chinese school from k-12. I can speak Chinese more or less fluently. Reading and writing requires heavy reliance on a dictionary.

On my resume, I listed "Mandarin - Fluent." On my first day of SA at V10 last year, I wasasked by a partner to translate an antitrust document on the spot. Could not do it. Later, I was handed a 100 page long, highly technical document and told to look for and translate portions that discussed a specific manufacturing process. That I did do, but it took much, much longer than they expected. I was paranoid the whole summer about getting no-offered for misrepresenting myself on my resume.

Got an offer, but lesson learned is do NOT put "fluent" unless you are fluent in speaking, reading, and writing. My resume now says "Fluent in Speaking."


Crap. Lesson learned then. I'll make a note of that for my resumes.




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