Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: necro8617 on August 04, 2007, 03:36:41 PM

Title: Miami legal market
Post by: necro8617 on August 04, 2007, 03:36:41 PM
Anyone know much about legal practice down there? Is Spanish a necessity, or a bonus? What kind of law is generally practiced?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: jillibean on August 04, 2007, 08:57:11 PM
entertainment and sports law are big- spanish is required for big law, or at least portugese or creole
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 05, 2007, 08:21:34 PM
As jillibean said, Spanish is pretty much a requirement. The only way to get easily around that is if you speak Portuguese. At some large firms, speaking French Creole will also substitute for Spanish. The obvious other big practice area is general Latin American law, whether it relates to immigration, Latin America corporate law, etc., etc., though it is also a big sports/entertainment law market. Sports law is probably the one area of practice in Miami where Spanish isn't required (you still need it for entertainment law).
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Nemesis on August 06, 2007, 07:10:38 AM
I would have to disagree that Spanish is a requirement. It certainly helps, especially if you want to do international work but it definitely is not a requirement. There are also several strong litigation and bankruptcy practices.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: bamf on August 06, 2007, 07:15:38 AM
http://www.abovethelaw.com/2007/08/fall_recruiting_open_thread_mi_1.php
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: UGAfootballfanatic on August 06, 2007, 09:37:16 AM
You don't need to know Spanish to work in Miami biglaw. You would need it to work legal aid. I'm at UF, and none of the OCI preferences for Miami biglaw even noted a need to speak spanish.

This just goes to show how you shouldn't rely on the advice of other 0Ls on stuff like this- I'd recommend you post questions like this on the law students and grads board.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 06, 2007, 10:58:50 AM
You don't need to know Spanish to work in Miami biglaw. You would need it to work legal aid. I'm at UF, and none of the OCI preferences for Miami biglaw even noted a need to speak spanish.

This just goes to show how you shouldn't rely on the advice of other 0Ls on stuff like this- I'd recommend you post questions like this on the law students and grads board.

A simple check of job listings at any big Miami law firm would show you that yes, you need to Spanish. If it doesn't say Spanish required, it says "Spanish strongly preferred" or "Spanish skills a big plus" or something along those lines. They all translate to: "If you don't speak Spanish, chances are you aren't going to get the job." And even if it doesn't ask for Spanish, it would be difficult for a non-Spanish speaker, all things being equal, getting a job over a Spanish-speaker, considering that Spanish, not English, is the dominant language in Miami. Portuguese can substitute for Spanish, pretty much universally.

Lack of Spanish skills is probably a major reason UF and especially FSU place poorly in Florida's largest legal market, despite being FL's two highest ranked schools.

My uncle works for one of the bigger firms in Miami, and I asked him about this yesterday. The conversation basiclly went like this:

Me: "Would your firm hire a first year who didn't speak Spanish?"
Him: "Only if they can speak Portuguese."
Me: "How about if they went to Harvard or Yale?"
Him: "Then we might be able to make an exception."



Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: jillibean on August 06, 2007, 02:20:16 PM
You don't need to know Spanish to work in Miami biglaw. You would need it to work legal aid. I'm at UF, and none of the OCI preferences for Miami biglaw even noted a need to speak spanish.

This just goes to show how you shouldn't rely on the advice of other 0Ls on stuff like this- I'd recommend you post questions like this on the law students and grads board.
::)

I suggest you actually look at job listings in Miami. All of the one's I looked at said it was REQUIRED or strongly prefered
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: jillibean on August 06, 2007, 02:28:00 PM
From the webiste bamf posted above:
I worked in Miami BigLaw after 2L. Best city to ever work in, period. The work environment in Miami, even at BigLaw, is ridiculously laid backed, but still challenging.

You do need to know how to speak a second language, though, because you deal so heavily with foreign clients. It does NOT have to be Spanish, however. It could be Portuguese, French, French Creole, or Italian, depending on the firm. If you can't speak a foreign language, opportunities are limited in Miami-Dade County, but much more plentiful in Broward and Palm Beach, which are suburban, but pay the same.

Miami is very much a love it/hate it city, just like LA and NYC. Very few people are in the middle.

In terms of BigLaw, there is a lot of opportunity. Few people realize Miami is one of the ten largest BigLaw markets in the country.

I also don't get why anybody would complain - you get paid similar to other markets, usually have a lighter workload than other markets, have amazing weather 9 out of 12 months, live in an adult playground, and, best of all - no state income tax!

Cost of living in Miami is also extremely reasonable once you get past paying rent.

Seems the only people who complain are the monolingual ones who couldn't get a job there based on the lack of a simple skill: a second language.

Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Nemesis on August 06, 2007, 02:43:03 PM
Well I've had a different experience. I'm currently at a big law firm in Miami and most of the associates here do not speak Spanish (and they're not exclusively from HY). Most of the Spanish speakers work in the Latin America corporate group (although there are a few members of the group that do not speak a second language). And if you speak Portuguese, chances are you'll be doing a significant amount of work with the offices in Brazil. But Spanish or a second language is certainly not a requirement, at least not here.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: queencruella on August 06, 2007, 02:52:03 PM
I would have to disagree that Spanish is a requirement. It certainly helps, especially if you want to do international work but it definitely is not a requirement. There are also several strong litigation and bankruptcy practices.


I wouldn't think it was either.  Spanish is certainly spoken in Miami, but it's hardly the dominant language. 

FWIW, I think Spanish is the first language of 60% of Miami residents. It's definitely the predominant language.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 06, 2007, 03:28:12 PM
I would have to disagree that Spanish is a requirement. It certainly helps, especially if you want to do international work but it definitely is not a requirement. There are also several strong litigation and bankruptcy practices.


I wouldn't think it was either.  Spanish is certainly spoken in Miami, but it's hardly the dominant language. 

Yes, it is the dominant language spoken in the city. Spanish is the first language of 66.75% of the City of Miami's hosueholds.

http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=&mode=&zip=&place_id=45000&cty_id=&ll=&a=&ea=&order=r

In all of Miami-Dade County, it is the primary language of 59.25% of households:

http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=86&mode=geographic&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=top&a=&ea=&order=r

And the most watch television station in Miami? It isn't FOX, ABC, CBS, or NBC...it's the Univision affiliate:

http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_21062004-2.html (old PR, but it's still #1).

Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 06, 2007, 03:30:46 PM
def sports and entertainment.  Real Estate. 

Spanish?  Put it this way, they tell you the cost of your merchandise in Spanish @ CVS, Eckerds, and Walgreens.   
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Nemesis on August 06, 2007, 03:44:29 PM
Even so, I'm guessing that most big law firms serve institutional clients that are able and willing to conduct business in English. Not so?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 06, 2007, 03:48:54 PM
yeah it's so but you should learn Spanish to be more of an asset.  Some smaller businesses down here are conducted solely in Spanish & there may come a time where you have to represent 'em     
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 06, 2007, 03:49:46 PM
true story:  went to Duncan Donuts and asked for a donut-  the lady working there had NO IDEA what I was saying
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 06, 2007, 03:54:14 PM
Even so, I'm guessing that most big law firms serve institutional clients that are able and willing to conduct business in English. Not so?

Yes, but there is still that comfort level of doing the business in Spanish/Portuguese, when it is so easy to do in Miami. Outside of a handful of local based companies (Office Depot, Burger King, Ryder, and some others) the majority of business in Miami deals with Latin America, and there might often be a third party involved that doesn't speak English.

Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ->Soon on August 06, 2007, 03:59:11 PM
tag
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 06, 2007, 04:02:41 PM
Even so, I'm guessing that most big law firms serve institutional clients that are able and willing to conduct business in English. Not so?

Yes, but there is still that comfort level of doing the business in Spanish/Portuguese, when it is so easy to do in Miami. Outside of a handful of local based companies (Office Depot, Burger King, Ryder, and some others) the majority of business in Miami deals with Latin America, and there might often be a third party involved that doesn't speak English.



yep
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: UGAfootballfanatic on August 06, 2007, 08:01:35 PM
I stand by my previous statement. Spanish is a bonus, but not a necessity at a big firm by any stretch. Perhaps you're looking at different listings than I am, but don't insult my intelligence by suggesting I can't read a job preference or requirement. The Miami firms don't tell UF students they need to speak Spanish, so perhaps you can stop claiming that this is why Miami places better than FSU or UF, and STFU. Those of you who think otherwise are just self-aggrandizing isolationists thinking your ESL does more than get you URM points on the LSAT.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 06, 2007, 08:24:16 PM
I stand by my previous statement.

And I stand by mine, and having lived in Miami, and having family in Miami's legal world, I certainly don't make it up. If you can't speak Spanish or Portuguese, you need something really amazing to make up for it to get a good legal job in Miami 95% of the time.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ->Soon on August 06, 2007, 08:27:50 PM
I stand by my previous statement.

And I stand by mine, and having lived in Miami, and having family in Miami's legal world, I certainly don't make it up. If you can't speak Spanish or Portuguese, you need something really amazing to make up for it to get a good legal job in Miami 95% of the time.

how about a Superman #1 in mint condition?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 06, 2007, 09:59:01 PM
I stand by my previous statement.

And I stand by mine, and having lived in Miami, and having family in Miami's legal world, I certainly don't make it up. If you can't speak Spanish or Portuguese, you need something really amazing to make up for it to get a good legal job in Miami 95% of the time.

how about a Superman #1 in mint condition?

As long as it's the super-rare Spanish translation.  ;)
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ->Soon on August 07, 2007, 04:43:10 AM
dang!
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: LittleRussianPrincess, Esq. on August 07, 2007, 08:00:10 AM
I would have to disagree that Spanish is a requirement. It certainly helps, especially if you want to do international work but it definitely is not a requirement. There are also several strong litigation and bankruptcy practices.

I second this.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Midnight on August 07, 2007, 04:40:26 PM
Miami is where I want to practice; however, my main interests are criminal defense, personal injury and all things trial law which makes me wonder if the market in Miami is conducive towards building a successful practice since I plan on  focusing on those areas of the law. (I can’t work for anybody but myself so Biglaw is out of the question). I plan on learning both Spanish and Portuguese after I graduate undergrad and during my 3 years (possibly 4 If I go for a MBA) of graduate school. How does market  for the above mentioned law areas in terms of building a lucrative practice? Also, I know that being a t14 is good and thing but hopefully it is not the deciding factor. Even with my potentiol raw scores I still think YHS is a crap shoot.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: LittleRussianPrincess, Esq. on August 07, 2007, 04:45:03 PM
Miami is where I want to practice; however, my main interests are criminal defense, personal injury and all things trial law which makes me wonder if the market in Miami is conducive towards building a successful practice since I plan on  focusing on those areas of the law. (I can’t work for anybody but myself so Biglaw is out of the question). I plan on learning both Spanish and Portuguese after I graduate undergrad and during my 3 years (possibly 4 If I go for a MBA) of graduate school. How does market  for the above mentioned law areas in terms of building a lucrative practice? Also, I know that being a t14 is good and thing but hopefully it is not the deciding factor. Even with my potentiol raw scores I still think YHS is a crap shoot.

homicides and accidents don't believe in geographic restrictions. neither should you.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: queencruella on August 07, 2007, 04:47:22 PM
Miami is where I want to practice; however, my main interests are criminal defense, personal injury and all things trial law which makes me wonder if the market in Miami is conducive towards building a successful practice since I plan on  focusing on those areas of the law. (I can’t work for anybody but myself so Biglaw is out of the question). I plan on learning both Spanish and Portuguese after I graduate undergrad and during my 3 years (possibly 4 If I go for a MBA) of graduate school. How does market  for the above mentioned law areas in terms of building a lucrative practice? Also, I know that being a t14 is good and thing but hopefully it is not the deciding factor. Even with my potentiol raw scores I still think YHS is a crap shoot.

homicides and accidents don't believe in geographic restrictions. neither should you.

The key is whether they are lucrative. I know that in Tampa criminal defense is not lucrative at all because there simply aren't that many wealthy criminal clients. That may or may not be the case in Miami, but it's something this poster wants to research before diving in.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Midnight on August 07, 2007, 04:55:14 PM
Well if I could prosecute Latin American dictators I'd make a killing in Miami ;)
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ksigman123 on August 07, 2007, 04:59:32 PM
Montana Holding Corporation still needs criminal defense attorneys...

but seriously I live in pretty much a TTT city in Florida (No offices of V100 or Am200 period) and the criminal lawyers still make a killing

remember in order to qualify for a public defender you need to make about poverty level...

so if your middle class (and im talking normal middle class (40-50ish)  there is no way you can qualify unless you default on your home...

people still need to be defended from DUIs

and actually unless you inherit a bunch of clients the best way is to work in the state attorney's office for 2-3 years and then move over to private practice...
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: queencruella on August 07, 2007, 05:05:07 PM
Montana Holding Corporation still needs criminal defense attorneys...

but seriously I live in pretty much a TTT city in Florida (No offices of V100 or Am200 period) and the criminal lawyers still make a killing

remember in order to qualify for a public defender you need to make about poverty level...

so if your middle class (and im talking normal middle class (40-50ish)  there is no way you can qualify unless you default on your home...

people still need to be defended from DUIs

and actually unless you inherit a bunch of clients the best way is to work in the state attorney's office for 2-3 years and then move over to private practice...

This isn't entirely true.In the federal court, they ask if you have an attorney. If you don't, they'll assign you a CJA attorney, determine how much you'll have to contribute, and then give a flat hourly fee to the CJA attorney. I've heard that in Tampa, there are very few, if any criminal defense firms that do not have to take contract work from the government because the criminals here simply don't have that much money to fork out.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ksigman123 on August 07, 2007, 05:08:56 PM
Good point about the CJA stuff but i find it hard to beleive that criminal in miami is that tough...it jus might require opening an office in south broward or north dade and serving all three counties...
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Midnight on August 07, 2007, 05:57:29 PM
Also, my advisor told me If I planned on building a practice in florida I should learn spanish. If anything you increase your earning potentiol.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: UGAfootballfanatic on August 07, 2007, 07:07:28 PM
Also, my advisor told me If I planned on building a practice in florida I should learn spanish. If anything you increase your earning potentiol.

Lol. No one in Florida speaks spanish north of fort lauderdale. I heard more spanish in rural South Georgia than I hear in Central and north florida.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ->Soon on August 07, 2007, 07:19:38 PM
ummmm, did u ever visit tampa?  osceola?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 07, 2007, 07:28:25 PM
Also, my advisor told me If I planned on building a practice in florida I should learn spanish. If anything you increase your earning potentiol.

Lol. No one in Florida speaks spanish north of fort lauderdale. I heard more spanish in rural South Georgia than I hear in Central and north florida.

% Spanish speaking households:

Hillsbourgh County...16.02%
Osceola County...27.36%
Orange County...17.33%
Palm Beach County...11.89%

Now, obviously, Miami-Dade is the only place where Spanish is dominant, but the Spanish speaking influence is felt to some degree all the way up to Tampa (which has a large Cuban community) and Orlando (which has a Puerto Rican community larger than Miami's). Once you get north of Tampa and Orlando, then you won't hear any Spanish.

Also, Spanish isn't prevalent among the middle and upper class once you get north of Fort Lauderdale, so it isn't at all needed for any sort of professional job.





Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: billthethrill on August 08, 2007, 10:43:46 AM
I would agree with whoever warned about taking career placement advice from 0L's.  I am a rising 3L at Miami and I look on the OCI board all the time.  I can't recall EVER seeing a Biglaw firm that required Spanish.

It is true that many of the smaller firms do prefer a foreign language, but this doomsday portrait that the 0L's are painting of the Miami market is ridiculous.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: LittleRussianPrincess, Esq. on August 08, 2007, 11:01:12 AM
ummmm, did u ever visit tampa?  osceola?

I am from Tampa and it's hardly Miami when it comes to the prevalence of Spanish. I don't know of a single non-Spanish grocery store or major business that had any signs in both languages. While the Spanish-speaking population may be substantial, this is not a city that caters to their language needs. Also, it's not like a major law firm like DLA or Holland and Knight are doing business with those people living in Tampa who don't speak English. They deal with corporations, directors and executives -- all of whom will have a sufficient command of English, even if it isn't their native language.

Like the poster above, I had pretty extensive experience with Miami firms in OCI and not only was Spanish not a requirement, it was never even mentioned!
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ->Soon on August 08, 2007, 11:39:33 AM
he said no one spoke spanish,  i was just correcting him.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 08, 2007, 11:41:39 AM
tampa sucks  :P
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ->Soon on August 08, 2007, 11:48:06 AM
tampa sucks  :P

and mee-ami is over priced...
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 08, 2007, 11:50:13 AM
tampa sucks  :P

and mee-ami is over priced...

dang, got me there
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: LittleRussianPrincess, Esq. on August 08, 2007, 12:06:39 PM
tampa sucks  :P
agreed. i prefer miami, but only certain parts.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: jillibean on August 08, 2007, 05:40:39 PM
I would agree with whoever warned about taking career placement advice from 0L's.  I am a rising 3L at Miami and I look on the OCI board all the time.  I can't recall EVER seeing a Biglaw firm that required Spanish.

It is true that many of the smaller firms do prefer a foreign language, but this doomsday portrait that the 0L's are painting of the Miami market is ridiculous.

I highly doubt 83% of what you just said
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 08, 2007, 06:21:27 PM
This is an interesting comment posted on the ATL Miami comments:



I was just a 3L at UM and I love Miami, but here's one secret:

I don't speak Spanish or Portuguese, but when you do OCI, they don't even mention anything about having to speak those languages on any job descriptions. Then, when you show up to the interview, they give you this huge, blank stare when you say you can't speak Spanish/Portuguese. If you can't speak Spanish or Portuguese, be prepared to work in the Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach offices, not the shiny ones on Brickell Avenue.

http://www.abovethelaw.com/2007/08/fall_recruiting_open_thread_mi_1.php
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: queencruella on August 08, 2007, 06:51:58 PM
This is an interesting comment posted on the ATL Miami comments:



I was just a 3L at UM and I love Miami, but here's one secret:

I don't speak Spanish or Portuguese, but when you do OCI, they don't even mention anything about having to speak those languages on any job descriptions. Then, when you show up to the interview, they give you this huge, blank stare when you say you can't speak Spanish/Portuguese. If you can't speak Spanish or Portuguese, be prepared to work in the Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach offices, not the shiny ones on Brickell Avenue.

http://www.abovethelaw.com/2007/08/fall_recruiting_open_thread_mi_1.php

This isn't much of a surprise. I've known large firms that advertise screening interviews for offices that don't hire any new/summer associates. There are also IP firms that don't advertise a specific specialty desired and then when people apply and get into the screening interview, the interview will say "Oh we really only wanted mechanical engineers" even though the screeners had the person's background in front of them when choosing him/her to interview.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: billthethrill on August 08, 2007, 10:55:24 PM
I would agree with whoever warned about taking career placement advice from 0L's.  I am a rising 3L at Miami and I look on the OCI board all the time.  I can't recall EVER seeing a Biglaw firm that required Spanish.

It is true that many of the smaller firms do prefer a foreign language, but this doomsday portrait that the 0L's are painting of the Miami market is ridiculous.

I highly doubt 83% of what you just said

Wow, 83%.  So that means you are 17% not retarded.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: necro8617 on August 08, 2007, 10:59:40 PM
Hhhhmmmmmmm....

Looks like I haven't gotten a straight answer yet.  ;D

Quite a debate on this issue, if I end up going there I guess I should take Spanish classes as a precaution.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: billthethrill on August 08, 2007, 11:06:07 PM
Hhhhmmmmmmm....

Looks like I haven't gotten a straight answer yet.  ;D

Quite a debate on this issue, if I end up going there I guess I should take Spanish classes as a precaution.

Yeah, you will learn Spanish well enough to practice law in no time.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 08, 2007, 11:09:17 PM
Hhhhmmmmmmm....

Looks like I haven't gotten a straight answer yet.  ;D

Quite a debate on this issue, if I end up going there I guess I should take Spanish classes as a precaution.

As long as you don't isolate yourself to your apartment, school, and the library, it is nearly impossible to live in Miami and not pick up basic Spanish doing everyday things, like reading billboards, shopping at CVS, and asking for directions. It can be a challenge to do that stuff in English down there. 
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: billthethrill on August 08, 2007, 11:15:02 PM
Unless you spend most of your time in Hialeah, 99% of the people you encounter in stores, restaurants, etc. will speak English. It is not that bad.  They act like they are put out having to speak English but they do it.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 09, 2007, 08:11:33 AM
Hhhhmmmmmmm....

Looks like I haven't gotten a straight answer yet.  ;D

Quite a debate on this issue, if I end up going there I guess I should take Spanish classes as a precaution.

As long as you don't isolate yourself to your apartment, school, and the library, it is nearly impossible to live in Miami and not pick up basic Spanish doing everyday things, like reading billboards, shopping at CVS, and asking for directions. It can be a challenge to do that stuff in English down there. 

true. 

I came down to the MIA for LS and UG.  You'll pick it up a little.  But there's hardly anywhere that has solely English speaking individuals so you'll have to get used to it.     
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 09, 2007, 08:29:42 AM
LOL @ Llindbergh, Lindbergh,Lindbergh, Lindbergh  :D
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: queencruella on August 09, 2007, 08:36:23 AM
This is an interesting comment posted on the ATL Miami comments:



I was just a 3L at UM and I love Miami, but here's one secret:

I don't speak Spanish or Portuguese, but when you do OCI, they don't even mention anything about having to speak those languages on any job descriptions. Then, when you show up to the interview, they give you this huge, blank stare when you say you can't speak Spanish/Portuguese. If you can't speak Spanish or Portuguese, be prepared to work in the Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach offices, not the shiny ones on Brickell Avenue.

http://www.abovethelaw.com/2007/08/fall_recruiting_open_thread_mi_1.php

This isn't much of a surprise. I've known large firms that advertise screening interviews for offices that don't hire any new/summer associates. There are also IP firms that don't advertise a specific specialty desired and then when people apply and get into the screening interview, the interview will say "Oh we really only wanted mechanical engineers" even though the screeners had the person's background in front of them when choosing him/her to interview.


This sounds more like just an excuse for dinging applicants they personally dislike.  Given what these attorneys bill out at, it wouldn't make much sense to interview candidates clearly lacking requisite skills.

I've known someone who went into an interview, actually knew one of the interviewers beforehand who said "Oh it will be great, don't worry" only to get in and have the other interviewer say, "We aren't really looking for X type of engineer right now" right off the bat. The second interviewer didn't even have time to get to know the person. \

As for the drug crimes- a ton are routed to Tampa right now. I've seen some people go to trial who were pretty high up on the chain but they still got a CJA attorney or a public defender.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 09, 2007, 08:37:16 AM
LOL @ Llindbergh, Lindbergh,Lindbergh, Lindbergh  :D


Repetition is the key.  ;)

I haven't seen this thread in awhile, and feel compelled to answer every reply.

 lol,cool   ;) :) 
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: burge322 on August 09, 2007, 08:46:12 AM
How good would one's spanish have to be exactly?  I can speak and write french perfectly (probably not that useful in Miami) and I can speak functional conversational spanish.  I could by no means however write a decent legal document in spanish.  Are they looking for people who generally understand spanish to corresond with other offices etc/or are they actually looking for people to do a bulk of their practicing of law in Spanish?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 09, 2007, 01:01:08 PM
I would have to disagree that Spanish is a requirement. It certainly helps, especially if you want to do international work but it definitely is not a requirement. There are also several strong litigation and bankruptcy practices.


I wouldn't think it was either.  Spanish is certainly spoken in Miami, but it's hardly the dominant language. 

Yes, it is the dominant language spoken in the city. Spanish is the first language of 66.75% of the City of Miami's hosueholds.

http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=&mode=&zip=&place_id=45000&cty_id=&ll=&a=&ea=&order=r

In all of Miami-Dade County, it is the primary language of 59.25% of households:

http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=86&mode=geographic&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=top&a=&ea=&order=r

And the most watch television station in Miami? It isn't FOX, ABC, CBS, or NBC...it's the Univision affiliate:

http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_21062004-2.html (old PR, but it's still #1).




Keep in mind that even if it's the first language of most people in the City, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the "dominant" lanaguage.  Overall, I'm sure more people speak English than speak Spanish.  (Most Spanish-speakers will speak both.)  More importantly (for Biglaw), the people at the top of the socio-economic ladder will mainly speak English.

This is Miami. If you are at the top of the socio-economic ladder in Miami, you definitely, without a doubt, speak Spanish. The most expensive areas in Florida, like Coral Gables, are primarily Spanish speaking areas. If you go into a high-end store like Gucci or Nordstrom, you will be greeted in Spanish and the signs are in Spanish. The wealthiest people in Miami are typically Hispanic, and, more specifically, Cuban and Venezuelan.

My mom works with a client in Miami in a different industry who is ridiculously wealthy, but speaks very little English.

Hispanics in Miami aren't the lower-income types that are typical of other largest, urban areas.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 09, 2007, 01:03:06 PM
This is an interesting comment posted on the ATL Miami comments:



I was just a 3L at UM and I love Miami, but here's one secret:

I don't speak Spanish or Portuguese, but when you do OCI, they don't even mention anything about having to speak those languages on any job descriptions. Then, when you show up to the interview, they give you this huge, blank stare when you say you can't speak Spanish/Portuguese. If you can't speak Spanish or Portuguese, be prepared to work in the Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach offices, not the shiny ones on Brickell Avenue.

http://www.abovethelaw.com/2007/08/fall_recruiting_open_thread_mi_1.php

This isn't much of a surprise. I've known large firms that advertise screening interviews for offices that don't hire any new/summer associates. There are also IP firms that don't advertise a specific specialty desired and then when people apply and get into the screening interview, the interview will say "Oh we really only wanted mechanical engineers" even though the screeners had the person's background in front of them when choosing him/her to interview.


This sounds more like just an excuse for dinging applicants they personally dislike.  Given what these attorneys bill out at, it wouldn't make much sense to interview candidates clearly lacking requisite skills.

Apparently it wasn't that much of an excuse, since it seems he got a job, albeit not in the Miami office:

Also, just to add to the above comment I posted, I did get offers from three BigLaw Miami firms, but none for the Miami offices. I was offered positions in Lauderdale or West Palm Beach because I couldn't speak Spanish or Portuguese. I ended up choosing Ft. Lauderdale and I'm not complaining. It's pretty amazing how much cheaper it is to live twenty five minutes north. Plus, BigLaw pay in South Florida is equal no matter where you are...Miami, Lauderdale, or West Palm.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 09, 2007, 01:04:52 PM
How good would one's spanish have to be exactly?  I can speak and write french perfectly (probably not that useful in Miami) and I can speak functional conversational spanish.  I could by no means however write a decent legal document in spanish.  Are they looking for people who generally understand spanish to corresond with other offices etc/or are they actually looking for people to do a bulk of their practicing of law in Spanish?

It's tough to say, but as long as you can have a conversation in Spanish, depending on the firm, I would assume you'd be fine.

However, French can substitute for Spanish. Miami has a large French-speaking community, from Quebec, France, and the French Caribbean. Down in Miami there is even a local television channel that broadcasts local news in French (HTN TV), and French radio.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: cui bono? on August 09, 2007, 04:19:42 PM
have to disagree with u there.  French/creole would be a plus but def not a substitute for Espanol. 
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: billthethrill on August 09, 2007, 06:21:29 PM
have to disagree with u there.  French/creole would be a plus but def not a substitute for Espanol. 

What, with all those big time Haitian MNC's in Miami?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on August 10, 2007, 05:52:14 AM
I would have to disagree that Spanish is a requirement. It certainly helps, especially if you want to do international work but it definitely is not a requirement. There are also several strong litigation and bankruptcy practices.


I wouldn't think it was either.  Spanish is certainly spoken in Miami, but it's hardly the dominant language. 

Yes, it is the dominant language spoken in the city. Spanish is the first language of 66.75% of the City of Miami's hosueholds.

http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=&mode=&zip=&place_id=45000&cty_id=&ll=&a=&ea=&order=r

In all of Miami-Dade County, it is the primary language of 59.25% of households:

http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=86&mode=geographic&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=top&a=&ea=&order=r

And the most watch television station in Miami? It isn't FOX, ABC, CBS, or NBC...it's the Univision affiliate:

http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_21062004-2.html (old PR, but it's still #1).




Keep in mind that even if it's the first language of most people in the City, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the "dominant" lanaguage.  Overall, I'm sure more people speak English than speak Spanish.  (Most Spanish-speakers will speak both.)  More importantly (for Biglaw), the people at the top of the socio-economic ladder will mainly speak English.

This is Miami. If you are at the top of the socio-economic ladder in Miami, you definitely, without a doubt, speak Spanish. The most expensive areas in Florida, like Coral Gables, are primarily Spanish speaking areas. If you go into a high-end store like Gucci or Nordstrom, you will be greeted in Spanish and the signs are in Spanish. The wealthiest people in Miami are typically Hispanic, and, more specifically, Cuban and Venezuelan.

My mom works with a client in Miami in a different industry who is ridiculously wealthy, but speaks very little English.

Hispanics in Miami aren't the lower-income types that are typical of other largest, urban areas.



You haven't addressed my point that most wealthy people will also speak English, however.  (And I doubt your first point that if you're at the top of the ladder you "definitely, without a doubt, speak Spanish" is truly valid.  There was of course a Miami before the Cubans arrived, and there are many other americans who have relocated there for various reasons.

I'm not saying all hispanics in Miami are poor, but I doubt all the rich people are hispanics either.  This is especially true when it comes to Biglaw, which is mainly dealing with large corporations with headquarters in other cities.

Again, I'm sure Spanish is helpful when applying to firms in Miami.  But I sincerely doubt that much actual practice is conducted in Spanish.  I imagine court filings, etc., are all in English.

This is credited. I have a friend that isn't fluent in spanish, but got offered a full time position at W&C in Miami. I certainly know that speaking Spanish or Portuguese isn't a pre-req to practicing in Miami.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ColdBlue on August 27, 2007, 08:42:51 PM
I speak Castilian Spanish (the real Spanish) fluently and I can't even understand the Spanish spoken in Miami; it's some kind of dog language. Their Spanish is so bad it dishonors my ears.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: keelee on August 28, 2007, 01:33:09 AM
I speak Castilian Spanish (the real Spanish) fluently and I can't even understand the Spanish spoken in Miami; it's some kind of dog language. Their Spanish is so bad it dishonors my ears.

Do you realize that there are two kinds of Spanish? No need to be so rude and elitist just because Castilian Spanish is different than traditional Latin American Spanish. I personally think Castilian Spanish sounds ugly, but that doesn't mean it's a dog language or incorrect.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ->Soon on September 04, 2007, 01:05:37 PM
• Want to ask a lawyer a question-for free?

LegalLine, a monthly help line operated by the Dade County Bar Association and staffed by volunteer lawyers, can answer in English and Spanish a broad range of basic legal questions. September's LegalLine will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday.Callers, who may choose to remain anonymous, should call, toll-free, 866-596-0399.

Attorneys will address a wide spectrum of legal specialties, including family, probate, criminal, real estate, landlord-tenant and business and immigration law. If appropriate, they'll also refer callers to service organizations.

Here's a sample of commonly asked questions:

• I was arrested a few years ago and I was wondering how to go about expunging my arrest record?

• I'm being sued for child support and I can't afford to pay. What are my options?

• I'm being assessed unfairly by my condo/homeowners association. What can I do about this situation?

• My Dad died and he left money in his bank account. How can I access the contents of the account?

• What is the statute of limitations for?

* Can you practice law in Miami without knowing spanish?

* Are all the babes in Mee-ami money hungry hoochey mommas?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: El_Che on December 04, 2007, 06:22:22 PM
^^ ummmm what?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: ->Soon on December 21, 2007, 08:55:47 PM
http://southflorida.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2007/12/17/daily17.html?surround=lfn

South Florida ranked No. 1 'judicial hellhole'

 The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) has ranked South Florida as its No. 1 "judicial hellhole" for 2007.

The annual report identifies "hellholes" as the top unfair jurisdictions in which to be sued. South Florida has topped the list for the first time.

"South Florida has a reputation for high awards and plaintiff-friendly rulings that make it a launching point for class actions, dubious claims and novel theories of recovery," the report summary reads.

The report comes a few weeks after a state interest group, Florida Stop Lawsuit Abuse (FSLA), published a study of the impacts of lawsuit abuse on the state's small businesses. Among the findings: 10 percent of small businesses have had to lay off employees, 27 percent have reconsidered expansion and 36 percent have raised prices on goods and services because of the threat of lawsuits.

"Small business is the backbone of Florida, and this issue affects every Floridian as a consumer," FSLA Executive Director Carlos Muhletaler said. "The courts are being used, in some cases, almost like an ATM."

The FSLA study also found that three-quarters of small business owners believe personal injury lawyers who file lawsuits are more interested in making money than helping their clients -- a finding personal injury lawyers bristled at.

"How would a small business owner know what's on the mind of a personal injury attorney?" asked Stuart Grossman, a partner at Grossman Roth, P.A. "This is an absolutely juvenile survey intended to produce no valid data."

Grossman added that his own law firm is a small business, and it makes no sense for lawyers to zero in on small businesses as targets.

Florida Justice Association President Frank Petosa also frowned upon the survey, calling it a "push poll."

"This is a piece of baseless propaganda that tends to get drummed up every year when Legislature is going into session," he said.

The Florida Legislature has passed some tort abuse reform legislation, but Muhletaler said it hasn't been enough to protect small business.

"We're not telling people not to sue," he said. "But this sue-happy mentality is being created by personal injury attorneys, and they are taking away the sense of personal responsibility."

South Florida has made ATRA's list for the last four years. Other "hellholes" this year were Rio Grande Valley and Gulf Coast, Texas; Cook County, Ill.; Clark County, Nev.; and Atlantic County, N.J.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Prog on January 01, 2008, 07:06:11 AM
I speak Castilian Spanish (the real Spanish) fluently and I can't even understand the Spanish spoken in Miami; it's some kind of dog language. Their Spanish is so bad it dishonors my ears.

Do you realize that there are two kinds of Spanish? No need to be so rude and elitist just because Castilian Spanish is different than traditional Latin American Spanish. I personally think Castilian Spanish sounds ugly, but that doesn't mean it's a dog language or incorrect.


And almost every latin american country has a different accent and certain vocabulary words. Heck, even in Spain, there are different versions of spanish spoken...


Back to the original topic... im guessing that if "some" spanish is a plus, that someone who is 100% english/spanish bilingual would have an even better shot if all other things were equal...



Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: El_Che on January 04, 2008, 05:58:50 PM
I speak Castilian Spanish (the real Spanish) fluently and I can't even understand the Spanish spoken in Miami; it's some kind of dog language. Their Spanish is so bad it dishonors my ears.

Do you realize that there are two kinds of Spanish? No need to be so rude and elitist just because Castilian Spanish is different than traditional Latin American Spanish. I personally think Castilian Spanish sounds ugly, but that doesn't mean it's a dog language or incorrect.


im guessing that if "some" spanish is a plus, that someone who is 100% english/spanish bilingual would have an even better shot if all other things were equal...





Claro. But "some" spanish will still be helpful.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Startin Up Soon! on June 02, 2009, 04:10:40 PM
Reviving an old thread!

So I'm pretty interested in working in BigLaw Miami (great weather, fun city, whats not to like?) after graduation but just have a ton of questions that I haven't been able to find answered  anywhere else. 

For starters, are the best places to work there White and Case and Weil?

I'm still hoping to clerk, do these regional offices still offer clerkship bonuses?

Will I be disadvantaged career-wise if I start in Miami instead of a more traditional city (NY, DC, etc)?

How difficult is it to get an offer in Miami?  My spanish is a bit rusty but I'm sure I can bring that back to speed if I need to.  I have zero connections to the region though!  As for my background, I'll be a 1L SA at a V30 firm in NYC and was HYPSM UG and am HYS for LS.  Will that make up for the lack of regional connections?  Looking through the associate profiles in Miami, it seemed like most came from Florida schools and NALP told me that Weil Miami doesn't even recruit at HYS...

TIA!
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: jillibean on June 03, 2009, 08:44:24 PM
I'm in Miami now and before I got here I was dreading the idea of having to learn Spanish. It is true that wherever you go, people speak Spanish. In fact, no matter how white/asian/black you look they will still speak to you in Spanish first and switch to English (if they know it). However, in courtrooms they speak English, at firms they speak English, at school they speak English.... get the idea? You really don't need to know Spanish unless you are doing something immigration related, international, or public-interest where most of your clients will speak another language. Creole is another biggie down here, so if you know French that may be attractive to some employers but I really wouldn't worry about that part.

As for firms, White & Case, Greenburg, Ackerman, Carlton Fields, Hunton & Williams....
If you aren't at a Florida school be prepared to give a good explanation as to why you are interested in working in Miami (other than the weather). You won't be disadvantaged by starting your career in Miami unless you decide to move somewhere else later. You would be at a disadvantage wherever you go afterwards just because you don't have any roots in that area. That is why most people advise you to work where you plan on being at in the long term.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: Startin Up Soon! on June 04, 2009, 02:28:38 PM
Thanks for the response!  How about Weil? 
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: iahurricane on June 05, 2009, 06:34:15 PM
I'm in Miami now and before I got here I was dreading the idea of having to learn Spanish. It is true that wherever you go, people speak Spanish. In fact, no matter how white/asian/black you look they will still speak to you in Spanish first and switch to English (if they know it). However, in courtrooms they speak English, at firms they speak English, at school they speak English.... get the idea? You really don't need to know Spanish unless you are doing something immigration related, international, or public-interest where most of your clients will speak another language. Creole is another biggie down here, so if you know French that may be attractive to some employers but I really wouldn't worry about that part.

As for firms, White & Case, Greenburg, Ackerman, Carlton Fields, Hunton & Williams....
If you aren't at a Florida school be prepared to give a good explanation as to why you are interested in working in Miami (other than the weather). You won't be disadvantaged by starting your career in Miami unless you decide to move somewhere else later. You would be at a disadvantage wherever you go afterwards just because you don't have any roots in that area. That is why most people advise you to work where you plan on being at in the long term.


I guess this post takes back all your previous ones on this thread from years ago saying spanish is required to even get an interview in miami?
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: iahurricane on June 05, 2009, 06:38:43 PM
I would have to disagree that Spanish is a requirement. It certainly helps, especially if you want to do international work but it definitely is not a requirement. There are also several strong litigation and bankruptcy practices.


I wouldn't think it was either.  Spanish is certainly spoken in Miami, but it's hardly the dominant language. 

Yes, it is the dominant language spoken in the city. Spanish is the first language of 66.75% of the City of Miami's hosueholds.

http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=&mode=&zip=&place_id=45000&cty_id=&ll=&a=&ea=&order=r

In all of Miami-Dade County, it is the primary language of 59.25% of households:

http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=86&mode=geographic&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=top&a=&ea=&order=r

And the most watch television station in Miami? It isn't FOX, ABC, CBS, or NBC...it's the Univision affiliate:

http://www.univision.net/corp/en/pr/Miami_21062004-2.html (old PR, but it's still #1).




Keep in mind that even if it's the first language of most people in the City, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the "dominant" lanaguage.  Overall, I'm sure more people speak English than speak Spanish.  (Most Spanish-speakers will speak both.)  More importantly (for Biglaw), the people at the top of the socio-economic ladder will mainly speak English.

This is Miami. If you are at the top of the socio-economic ladder in Miami, you definitely, without a doubt, speak Spanish. The most expensive areas in Florida, like Coral Gables, are primarily Spanish speaking areas. If you go into a high-end store like Gucci or Nordstrom, you will be greeted in Spanish and the signs are in Spanish. The wealthiest people in Miami are typically Hispanic, and, more specifically, Cuban and Venezuelan.

My mom works with a client in Miami in a different industry who is ridiculously wealthy, but speaks very little English.

Hispanics in Miami aren't the lower-income types that are typical of other largest, urban areas.


This just isn't true. In fact, Coral Gables is the one area of Miami that I've never, ever had a problem meeting someone who didn't speak english. Its really the poorer areas of town where you go into a subway and the workers can't even speak english and you have to point to what you want.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: jillibean on June 06, 2009, 07:27:25 PM
I'm in Miami now and before I got here I was dreading the idea of having to learn Spanish. It is true that wherever you go, people speak Spanish. In fact, no matter how white/asian/black you look they will still speak to you in Spanish first and switch to English (if they know it). However, in courtrooms they speak English, at firms they speak English, at school they speak English.... get the idea? You really don't need to know Spanish unless you are doing something immigration related, international, or public-interest where most of your clients will speak another language. Creole is another biggie down here, so if you know French that may be attractive to some employers but I really wouldn't worry about that part.

As for firms, White & Case, Greenburg, Ackerman, Carlton Fields, Hunton & Williams....
If you aren't at a Florida school be prepared to give a good explanation as to why you are interested in working in Miami (other than the weather). You won't be disadvantaged by starting your career in Miami unless you decide to move somewhere else later. You would be at a disadvantage wherever you go afterwards just because you don't have any roots in that area. That is why most people advise you to work where you plan on being at in the long term.


I guess this post takes back all your previous ones on this thread from years ago saying spanish is required to even get an interview in miami?

Yes, I take back all of that from before. Granted, I'm from white-ville USA so coming here was like a culture shock and I didn't really know what the heck I was talking about- like every other 0L.  2 years later I think I do.
Title: Re: Miami legal market
Post by: jtgain on July 05, 2009, 03:26:41 PM
I live in Palm Beach County and am very familiar with the Miami area.  Knowing Spanish will definitely help you anywhere in South Florida.  Being bilingual will be a big bonus to your resume much moreso than other areas of the country.

But it is not a requirement.