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Messages - SilentSwirl

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41
Minority Topics / Re: Bilinguals in law school
« on: May 02, 2007, 10:32:59 PM »
Native languages are English and Spanish. I've picked up French and Italian in high school/college.

I want to go into international law - private sector. I want to focus on transnational trade issues from the company's side, international aquisitions and mergers, international business disputes, or intellectual property issues. Something along those lines, to be more defined as I take more classes and see what I'm getting into.

I am applying for American's Dual Degree program where I would, in 4 years, get a J.D. and a Licenciatura en Derecho from Spain. You live two years in DC and two years in Spain.

This summer I plan on going to Costa Rica and getting a part time job in order to brush up on my "business spanish" skills and maybe take a grammar class since I've never been formally schooled in Spanish.

If I have any "free time" at all during the three years (or at least the summers!) in law school I want to study Portuguese. I know I won't have much time, I don't need to learn it perfectly, just to at least have a working knowledge of it. And Brazil is SUCH an emerging economy! If I can't do China or India I'll settle for Brazil.

Then when it comes time to get a job, hopefully I will be looking at employers who work with clients who do business in other languages and my ability to speak those languages, though I dont count on that to get me the job, I hope it will at least give me a little bit of an 'edge' to at least be considered.

So, that's my very preliminary plan for putting my language skills to use! I sure as hell am not going to have spent so many years studying languages without putting them to SOME use! Well, that's what I'm hoping, at least. :-\

Wow!  I'm impressed, to say the least.  I didn't even know American had such a program, and I hope that you are accepted and are able to use it to position yourself to achieve yourt futyre career goals.  I can really identify with your last statement, as I studied Spanish for 13 years and want to find a way to incorporate that into my legal career somehow.  I'm not necessarily interested in the international law route per se, so I'll have to figure something else out over the course of the next 3 years.

Well, I havent actually DONE any of the impressive stuff yet -- it's all just plans so far! But thanks for your well wishes, I hope things work out well :)

I think the best way to put your spanish skills to use if you're not specifically interested in "international law" is to move some place (like Texas, my home state!) that has alot of spanish speakers. Then you have lots of potential clients that are spanish speakers. Corporate, family, employment, child advocacy, etc ... But yeah, it will be interesting to see what fun stuff you come up with!

42
Minority Topics / Re: Bilinguals in law school
« on: May 01, 2007, 01:41:45 PM »
Unfortunately not. The only step I've taken is, I worked in translation for a company that does a lot of global entertainment/IP-related transactions, and I asked them to forward my resume to their legal representation to keep me in mind for a summer associate-type thing.

Now that I'm thinking about it though, with respect to M&A, negotiation might be something to focus on. I had assumed that law school negotiation curriculum was mostly relevant to settlements, but attorneys definitely get into the fray with M&A negotiation. My suspicion is that most of those transactions, no matter where they are, are conducted in English, though. That is what's frustrating me about this. It seems like everything Law is in English.

Yeah, but everything in business is about contacts and networking. How much more of a leg up are you going to have for your firm if, once the meeting's over, you can take your clients to lunch and sit around and chat in spanish? Trust me, they will enjoy the lunch MUCH more than if they have to keep speaking in a 'foreign' language, even if they're really good english speakers.

As far as something non-outside-of-the-office related goes, I think it will come in when you are working with an american company that wants to work with american attorneys in order to do business in a foreign country. In other words, let's say Company X wants to do business in Mexico. They need to hire you to be sure they're compliant with US laws, but oh? What's this? You speak spanish and understand the laws in Mexico? Well of COURSE we'd like to hire you.

Of course, I may be dreaming :)

43
Law School Applications / Re: What up UNC?
« on: May 01, 2007, 07:14:08 AM »
UNC just rejected everyone today..no matter what the numbers are..WTF?!

Uh .. what?

44
When I visited American a couple of weeks ago, I was the only person in the tour group that had been admitted. 4 people were there for the 08 cycle, and 4 others were there on the Wait List. The ones on the wait list had called, just like I did, to say that they would like to schedule a visit and a tour. American had these going on every weekend, however, until last weekend. I don't know whether your school will still be doing this in the middle of finals or not.

In any event, I would try to talk to someone on the admissions committee, even if not the dean. Whatever you do, DONT ask, "So when is the wait list going to start moving?" I would arm yourself with a few questions that are not answered on the website (DONT ask "So how many people in your entering class?") - try something like "Who could I talk to a little more about Program X that seems really interesting?" or something along those lines.

Also, one thing I've heard that surprised me is that as it gets closer to the start date for school, they are looking for people they know will accept the offer, and not necessarily the most qualified applicant. So if the school is really your first choice, and if you get off the wait list you would really drop everything and go, by all means be sure to tell them that! And if you have family or friends or something in the area that would help get you started -- tell them! They dont want to waste an acceptance on someone who is going to say "Thanks, but it's kinda too late."

Be sure to follow up with a thank you note and another mention of your continued interest.

Good luck on your visit!

45
LSAC and LSDAS / Re: Study Abroad
« on: May 01, 2007, 06:51:50 AM »
I studied abroad two different semesters.

One semester I received French grades at a french university and my university translated them into actual grades. These were calculated by LSAC just like all others.

The other semester I was in Italy, and the program had a grade reporting service (optional, you had to pay for it) where they would agree to give you an American grade (let me tell you how much it sucks to be given a B+ by a professor not because of lack of quality of work but because she's European and believes no one deserves an A) and it would go on record at Spellman College. My school got the grades from Spellman and gave me transfer credits but no grade. I sent LSAC my school's transcripts as well as the Spellman transcripts that had actual grades on them.

So, my answer does nothing to help solve your problem, but you did ask if anyone had similar experience! Best of luck, and I agree - The easier thing is to call LSAC -- it really won't take all that long. I called them to ask about some stuff, shouldnt set you back more than 5 or 10 mins max.

46
With most wait lists if you haven't been called by the time the 2nd or 3rd day of class rolls around, you can assume you never will be. I don't think there's a notification system if you're NOT being pulled off. You just sit and wait. It sucketh.

I will say that what I've heard from people in admissions is that the closer it gets to the time school starts, particularly as it gets later and later in the summer, when they start having to go to the waitlist they are looking for people they know will say yes. So that if you've continued to keep in touch with them, and have told them repeatedly that you will up and move from wherever you are just for a chance to be at their school, they are more likely to call you instead of someone else. I've also heard them say it helps if you have family in the area or are from the area because you have a place to stay if it's really down to the wire.

Good luck!

47
Law School Applications / Re: Accepted TODAY !!
« on: May 01, 2007, 06:32:33 AM »
In at Northwestern :P...was held back in January.

Sweet! Congrats :) So are you still going to GULC?

48
Minority Topics / Re: Bilinguals in law school
« on: May 01, 2007, 01:14:17 AM »
I was unaware of that dual degree program at American. I took a Portuguese class for Spanish speakers a few years ago that was pretty good. (That is, a Portuguese class for Spanish speakers conducted in English.)

Hypothetically, though, if you were in a plain JD program would you attempt to master all of the technical vocabulary in Spanish as well as English?

As of now I *am* in a plain JD program. You can't apply for that program at American until your second semester there (which makes me sad, because a large part of my desire to go to American is that program!).  You can read about it here: http://www.wcl.american.edu/dualdegree/madrid.cfm

So to answer your question -- yes! I would be particularly pleased to take a class, because the whole self-teaching thing just doesn't work out for me (I always seem to find something better to do!).  Even if I am not accepted into the program, I am going to make an effort to also learn the continental legal system, which is used outside of the US and especially in Latin America.

The other thing I think is important beyond the language is to be literate in the corporate culture of the particular country with which you want to work. I don't necessarily want to work IN another country, but if asked to travel for meetings and such I definitely don't want to be caught in a faux-pas!

What about you? Made any plans? Have any ideas? Tips? Suggestions?

49
General Off-Topic Board / Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« on: May 01, 2007, 12:21:51 AM »
This is totally off topic, and I apologize.

But every time I see this thread pop up in my unreads, instead of seeing "Pay Gap" I accidentally read "Pap Gay" and end up thinking to myself, "WHAT about Gay Pap smears??"

K, done.

-------

As you were.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,87588.0.html

Omg. Hahahahahahaha ... so I'm not going crazy afterall?!

Thanks Cady :D :D

50
Minority Topics / Re: Bilinguals in law school
« on: May 01, 2007, 12:19:33 AM »
Native languages are English and Spanish. I've picked up French and Italian in high school/college.

I want to go into international law - private sector. I want to focus on transnational trade issues from the company's side, international aquisitions and mergers, international business disputes, or intellectual property issues. Something along those lines, to be more defined as I take more classes and see what I'm getting into.

I am applying for American's Dual Degree program where I would, in 4 years, get a J.D. and a Licenciatura en Derecho from Spain. You live two years in DC and two years in Spain.

This summer I plan on going to Costa Rica and getting a part time job in order to brush up on my "business spanish" skills and maybe take a grammar class since I've never been formally schooled in Spanish.

If I have any "free time" at all during the three years (or at least the summers!) in law school I want to study Portuguese. I know I won't have much time, I don't need to learn it perfectly, just to at least have a working knowledge of it. And Brazil is SUCH an emerging economy! If I can't do China or India I'll settle for Brazil.

Then when it comes time to get a job, hopefully I will be looking at employers who work with clients who do business in other languages and my ability to speak those languages, though I dont count on that to get me the job, I hope it will at least give me a little bit of an 'edge' to at least be considered.

So, that's my very preliminary plan for putting my language skills to use! I sure as hell am not going to have spent so many years studying languages without putting them to SOME use! Well, that's what I'm hoping, at least. :-\

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