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Anonymous User wrote:What region of the world is your accent from? Certain accents might actually be of help. Western European accents are often considered charming or intellectual. African accents are beneficial too (as long as people can understand what you are saying) because stereotypes about African work ethic and behavior are more positive than those re: African Americans. If your accent is from Eastern Europe, the Indian subcontinent, or ther Arab world, however, then it probably won't help you and you might trigger associations that aren't very positive.Anonymous User wrote:At what point in the application process is citizenship an issue? I have a green card, an accent... and no luck with OCI (my GPA/school combo should have led to more success). No one ever asked me about my citizenship status, and I did not mention it to anyone. I am also shocked that law firms do not ask about it on their website, though in all other industries that I have applied to, citizenship questions are on their web application. Do you think it is worth putting it on my resume, mentioning it in the interview or something along those lines?Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
Yes, that was me. Regarding whether big law firms routinely sponsor visas, you have to ask for whom. Big law firms routinely sponsor visas for foreign attorneys through a host of programs lasting months to one or two years. These attorneys are often from these firm's foreign offices or they are participating in special international programs sponsored by these firms (or they have a connection that the firm wants to please). For foreign attorneys who are coming in as summer associates and seeking permanent offers, however, the picture is very different. There are far fewer spots for them and from what I have seen, the vast majority of these few spots are taken up by English-speaking Canadians (perhaps because Canadians have an easier time with the immigration process or because Americans are more familiar with Canadians or maybe something else is afoot). I assume you are not Canadian, since if you were, you would have probably been encouraged by the part of my prior post mentioning Canadians.
As I said in my last post, the reason why you would be at a major disadvantage is very simple: unless you are a standout, firms can easily find green card-holding immigrants, naturalized citizens, and native-born citizens who have the credentials they seek, especially in this economy in which big law firms have far more amazing, brilliant applicants than they did before to fill far smaller classes. So, why go through the trouble and expense for a complete foreigner, unless the candidate is special? Big law firms certainly have the money, but there's no reason to spend it unless they're getting someone amazing. None of this means that you shouldn't try your hand at a legal career in the US. It does mean that you have to evaluate your connections, credentials, experience, non-English language skills and basically everything you offer and then honestly ask yourself if you're the sort of standout candidate I've described. Then ask yourself if you can stand out in the same way at a top law school (keep in mind that everyone plans to be at the top of their class, but few actually are).
If your accent is thick, I would definitely advise you to mention your resume that you have a green card. Put it in the "personal" section as an interesting bit of trivia ("born in [insert country] and acquired green card in [insert year]"). Reiterating during your interview that you have a green card can't hurt as long as you weave it into your general narrative. Something like "Being an American of [country] origin, I possess the language skills and ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds that I believe are increasingly important in this global world." The person interviewing you will likely then follow up with questions. You can really stand out if you sell yourself as bicultural, so don't just throw out something awkward like "I know my accent is thick but I have a green card."
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