Second Language?

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Luke_Lawyer19
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Second Language?

Postby Luke_Lawyer19 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:06 pm

When applying to HYS, does fluency in a second language make one stand out and thus give one an advantage relative to other applicants who are only fluent in English? Or is a second language quite minor in terms of HYS admissions?

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txdude45
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Re: Second Language?

Postby txdude45 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:11 pm

Luke_Lawyer19 wrote:When applying to HYS, does fluency in a second language make one stand out and thus give one an advantage relative to other applicants who are only fluent in English? Or is a second language quite minor in terms of HYS admissions?


This may be one of the most marginal soft factors one could have. They dig through LSAT, GPA, URM status, recommendations, undergrad institution, personal statement, and extracurriculars (some of which will be stuff like Rhodes, Olympics, from war torn country). After all this, I doubt a second language is gonna get them to bring you in.

That being said, I eat lunch at an HYS law school once a week and regularly hear people having conversations in languages other than english. 99% of them are international students.

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Luke_Lawyer19
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Luke_Lawyer19 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:57 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'm required to take a second language as a general requirement with the University I'm attending.
I was planning to take Chinese and eventually become conversational, but now I'm starting to have second thoughts and considering just blasting through ASL (American Sign Language).

What do you think?

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Re: Second Language?

Postby 062914123 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:00 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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wtrc
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Re: Second Language?

Postby wtrc » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:29 pm

From what I've heard, saying it's a marginal soft if anything would be overstating it. It doesn't matter.

It would matter more, I guess, if you used the language to tutor kids or work on immigrant rights or something.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Second Language?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:31 am

Luke_Lawyer19 wrote:When applying to HYS, does fluency in a second language make one stand out and thus give one an advantage relative to other applicants who are only fluent in English? Or is a second language quite minor in terms of HYS admissions?


This depends entirely on how it fits into your application. Being fluent in another language in a vacuum does next to nothing -- plenty of korean, russian, taiwanese, ect. immigrants applying to LS w/ can speak their native language. I was fluent in one language other than English and near fluent in another that I took in college (neither of which associated with my ethnicity) and I think I worked this into my application and my work experience pretty well so it might have had a small soft bump.

American Sign Language, if anything will look like a slacker course. I mean if its an easy A and you have other rigorous coursework, go for it -- I got B+'s in three semesters of German, which wrecked my sophomore yr GPA -- but don't stack yourself with uninteresting coursework, law schools want to see you challenge yourself not just breeze by. That being said, don't just take Chinese and expect that to make any difference to an HYS admissions officer unless its well folded into your dossier.

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Luke_Lawyer19
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Luke_Lawyer19 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:10 am

Thanks for the response jbagelboy. Other than becoming conversational in Mandarin (which I'm pretty sure I'm not going to do), I have no other plans for learning a second language. However, I need to take a second language of some sort. If I plan on just getting this requirement done and over with, I figure that American Sign Language will work quite well. I'm told it's easy relative to other languages and it doesn't take up much time on my schedule.

I just finished my first year, with a very good GPA, and have decided to ease up my schedule for second year a little bit (mostly with 100 level courses) in order to raise my GPA (4.1+). I don't plan on taking any 100 level courses in my third and fourth years. Instead, I'm going to save certain upper level courses that I find VERY interesting for my third and fourth years, as this would help maintain my GPA.

What do you think of this? Do you, or anybody else, have any suggestions?

rad lulz
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Re: Second Language?

Postby rad lulz » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:23 am

Luke_Lawyer19 wrote:Thanks for the response jbagelboy. Other than becoming conversational in Mandarin (which I'm pretty sure I'm not going to do), I have no other plans for learning a second language. However, I need to take a second language of some sort. If I plan on just getting this requirement done and over with, I figure that American Sign Language will work quite well. I'm told it's easy relative to other languages and it doesn't take up much time on my schedule.

I just finished my first year, with a very good GPA, and have decided to ease up my schedule for second year a little bit (mostly with 100 level courses) in order to raise my GPA (4.1+). I don't plan on taking any 100 level courses in my third and fourth years. Instead, I'm going to save certain upper level courses that I find VERY interesting for my third and fourth years, as this would help maintain my GPA.

What do you think of this? Do you, or anybody else, have any suggestions?

Major in something that can get you a job if you decide you don't want to go to law school

I suggest accounting

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Second Language?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:30 am

Luke_Lawyer19 wrote:When applying to HYS, does fluency in a second language make one stand out and thus give one an advantage relative to other applicants who are only fluent in English? Or is a second language quite minor in terms of HYS admissions?


If you think you're getting into HYS, a second language is not the kind of soft that is going to get you in. It will literally be on par with the consistency of the deuce you dropped the day you applied.

Negligible difference between 4.05 and 4.15, btw, so I would focus on softs/LSAT/having fun. I wouldn't major in accounting though - Y in particular is unlikely to tolerate such a professional degree in their esteemed ranks

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Re: Second Language?

Postby qwertyboard » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:29 am

If you're required to take a second language, I would learn a second language thats rarer than mandarin/cantonese. A lot of native/second generation asian people know these languages and graduate LS each year. Maybe you could learn portuguese, french, some language spoken in an african country with lots of multinationals, I don't know... something else

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dnptan
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Re: Second Language?

Postby dnptan » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:16 pm

4 Semesters of a language won't make you conversational by any stretch. Languages are not really learned in classrooms. In terms of law (and life), suggesting you're conversational can hurt you MUCH more than it can help.

Word of caution for including languages in your resume: I once interviewed a candidate that had "German: conversational" in their resume. I proceed to interview them in German - they couldn't respond. Obviously they didn't get the job. Conversational literally means you can hold a conversation - please DO NOT put that in your resume unless you really can do it. It will screw you over, when push comes to shove.

If it ever shows that you "lied" on your resume, your credibility will be shattered. If you really want to learn a language, move to another country, or have daily conversations with a native speaker.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Second Language?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:41 pm

ManOfTheMinute wrote:
Negligible difference between 4.05 and 4.15, btw, so I would focus on softs/LSAT/having fun. I wouldn't major in accounting though - Y in particular is unlikely to tolerate such a professional degree in their esteemed ranks


Agreed. Beyond 4.0 is irrelevant since it just means your school had A+ grades when most others do not. Also, its false that a higher GPA alone when you are already above median will yield better results. Yale and Stanford will prefer a 3.9 with challenging and varied coursework, i.e. graduate and upper div, to a 4.1 stacked with intro courses and classes like accounting. This will also limit your research potential, extended exposure to profs for good LORs & summer opportunities (this is esp. critical at large universities, take upper div small classes so you can get to know a prof outside of large seminar), and learning experience overall. That said, don't dip below the median.

also, if you have a 4.1 GPA your freshmen year and you're already blogging about law school, you must have lived in some sort of substance free hall and studied on friday nights or some shit. go drink some cheap box wine take shots of stoli and hook up with a random or you will seriously miss out. college gets hard junior year have fun while you can.

rad lulz wrote:
I suggest accounting


On this note, no. Remember the OP's goal is HYS not USC.

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Luke_Lawyer19
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Luke_Lawyer19 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:03 pm

Right now my GPA is 4.0 on the spot. By the next year, however, I'd like it to be 4.1+ .

What do you think of taking 100 level courses in my second year? Is it a smart strategy?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Second Language?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:12 pm

Luke_Lawyer19 wrote:Right now my GPA is 4.0 on the spot. By the next year, however, I'd like it to be 4.1+ .

What do you think of taking 100 level courses in my second year? Is it a smart strategy?


at my college, 101 - 199 was considered upper division, roughly speaking, but I understand that at most universities 100 level is intro coursework. I assume this is what you mean.

I would balance it -- do 2/2 intro classes to fulfill requirements/more advanced classes in your major(s)/minor. Don't take all intro classes sophomore year. I've always found this to be a good balance, although junior/senior year I was taking all upper div anyway. Again, this isn't just for grades. Try to take more than one class with the same professor, like a smaller discussion based class with someone you had in a seminar. Starting to build relationships your sophomore year will benefit you, since those profs will write you letters for funded summer internships/opportunities, and if you have strong ties by end of junior year it will be easier to get good thesis advisers and letters of recommendation, critical to applying early as a K-JD.

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Luke_Lawyer19
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Luke_Lawyer19 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:36 pm

jbagelboy, whats your opinion of W's on a transcript?

The reason I ask is because I have two and don't intend to have any others. I was severely ill this past semester and had to drop two classes. In your opinion, is this detrimental to my possible acceptance into HYS?

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heythatslife
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Re: Second Language?

Postby heythatslife » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:30 am

Ask any serious linguist or a multilingual person - no language you're going to learn for 4 semesters in a classroom setting is going to be worth putting on your resume. This is especially true for non-European languages such as Mandarin or Arabic that bear no similiarity whatsoever to English.

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Luke_Lawyer19
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Luke_Lawyer19 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:30 pm

??

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Ave
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Ave » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:39 pm

No, second language does not matter.

For more on languages:
Which language?

qwertyboard
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Re: Second Language?

Postby qwertyboard » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:43 am

dnptan wrote:4 Semesters of a language won't make you conversational by any stretch. Languages are not really learned in classrooms. In terms of law (and life), suggesting you're conversational can hurt you MUCH more than it can help.

Word of caution for including languages in your resume: I once interviewed a candidate that had "German: conversational" in their resume. I proceed to interview them in German - they couldn't respond. Obviously they didn't get the job. Conversational literally means you can hold a conversation - please DO NOT put that in your resume unless you really can do it. It will screw you over, when push comes to shove.

If it ever shows that you "lied" on your resume, your credibility will be shattered. If you really want to learn a language, move to another country, or have daily conversations with a native speaker.


This would have been hilarious to watch.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Second Language?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:06 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Yale and Stanford will prefer a 3.9 with challenging and varied coursework, i.e. graduate and upper div, to a 4.1 stacked with intro courses and classes like accounting.

no

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Luke_Lawyer19
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Luke_Lawyer19 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:48 pm

Your reasoning JamMasterJ?

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Tekrul
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Tekrul » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:31 am

I'm sorry I don't know where the 4 semesters of language came up but if in fact that is your experience in the language I would not say fluency on a resume or application. Maybe intermediate or beginner language skills. I am a native Korean speaker, it was my first language, and I use it pretty much every day, and I've been told by a lawyer in Korea/Hong Kong to list my skill as advanced, not fluent. Unless you could go to law school in that language and do well, don't claim fluency was the gist of his warning.

I have 4 semesters worth of Russian and I call it beginner in my résumé.

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TripTrip
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Re: Second Language?

Postby TripTrip » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:35 am

JamMasterJ wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Yale and Stanford will prefer a 3.9 with challenging and varied coursework, i.e. graduate and upper div, to a 4.1 stacked with intro courses and classes like accounting.

no

+1 to the no.

If your major was logically selected they won't care what coursework got you there and the GPA will make a difference.

Also, OP, you're not going to become fluent in Mandrin through a single college course. There's folks who major in simpler languages and still are nowhere near fluent.

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Re: Second Language?

Postby 20141023 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:20 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Real Madrid
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Re: Second Language?

Postby Real Madrid » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:36 pm

Luke_Lawyer19 wrote:Thanks for the reply. I'm required to take a second language as a general requirement with the University I'm attending.
I was planning to take Chinese and eventually become conversational, but now I'm starting to have second thoughts and considering just blasting through ASL (American Sign Language).

What do you think?


If you want to learn Mandarin (or any other language) - be it for travel, potential career benefits, or any other reason - go for it. Language learning is a constant intellectual challenge and can be quite fun if you are highly self-motivated. On the other hand, majoring in a foreign language in college does not - in any way, shape or form - make you fluent in that language. College courses are taught in an academic context and do not in any way prepare students for the normal, day-to-day conversation exercised amongst native speakers. That kind of fluency can only be achieved by immersing yourself in the language in a foreign country.

Best of luck.




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