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Author Topic: Miami legal market  (Read 18170 times)

keelee

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #70 on: August 09, 2007, 03:01:08 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.
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keelee

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #71 on: August 09, 2007, 03:03:06 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.
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keelee

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #72 on: August 09, 2007, 03:04:52 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.
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cui bono?

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #73 on: August 09, 2007, 06:19:42 PM »
have to disagree with u there.  French/creole would be a plus but def not a substitute for Espanol. 
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

billthethrill

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #74 on: August 09, 2007, 08:21:29 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?
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Lindbergh

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #75 on: August 10, 2007, 06:12:34 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.

Lindbergh

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #76 on: August 10, 2007, 06:15:08 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.

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.


Apparently, they liked his credentials, just not his personality enough to have him in their downtown office.  Unlikely it had anything to do with language, though, especially since most Biglaw partners in Miami are probably Anglo.

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #77 on: August 10, 2007, 07:52:14 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.
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ColdBlue

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #78 on: August 27, 2007, 10:42:51 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.

keelee

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Re: Miami legal market
« Reply #79 on: August 28, 2007, 03:33:09 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.
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