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Author Topic: Miami legal market  (Read 19230 times)

necro8617

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Miami legal market
« on: August 04, 2007, 05:36:41 PM »
Anyone know much about legal practice down there? Is Spanish a necessity, or a bonus? What kind of law is generally practiced?

jillibean

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 10:57:11 PM »
entertainment and sports law are big- spanish is required for big law, or at least portugese or creole
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keelee

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2007, 10:21:34 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).
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Lindbergh

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2007, 12:24:16 AM »
entertainment and sports law are big- spanish is required for big law, or at least portugese or creole


Wow, that's crazy.

Nemesis

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2007, 09:10:38 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.
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bamf

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UGAfootballfanatic

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2007, 11:37:16 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.

keelee

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2007, 12:58:50 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.

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."



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Lindbergh

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2007, 04:04:57 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. 

Lindbergh

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2007, 04:07:02 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.

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."



I'm sure Spanish is helpful, but I highly doubt it's a requirement at any major firm, which is mainly going to be dealing with english-speaking corporate clients. 

Smaller or mid-size firms dealing with latin cients may be different. 

On the other hand, if you're not T14, it may be a helpful way to distinguish yourself from other applicants.