Law School Discussion

Students whose first language is not English.


Students whose first language is not English.
« on: June 12, 2002, 05:09:31 AM »
I am a junior majoring in communications and have been thinking about going to law school after graduating. I don’t know if the fact that I speak with an accent (not a terrible one, but definitely noticeable) could prevent me from doing so. I haven’t made up my mind about the law school yet, but would be grateful if anybody shares an experience or knowledge related to the subject. I don’t know if it matters but I am an American Citizen through naturalization. 8)


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Re: Students whose first language is not English.
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2002, 11:09:32 AM »
Hi Nina,

You have nothing to worry about regarding your accent.  There are plenty of thick accents in law school.  You might even have an advantage in getting into law school because the schools want people from different backgrounds.  Being from another country is definitly a plus. (I'm assuming your from another country.  If you're not, you can still make note that english is not your first language and that should help you because it shows you've overcome a language obsticle.)

A couple things:

You might need to work extra hard on your personal statment and your writing skills in general.  Lawyers don't tolerate grammer and spelling mistakes (haha - I'm sure this post is full of them, but no clients, bosses, or judges are going to be reading this).

You should keep in mind that you will get called on in law school, and professors and other students will expect you to do a good job answering the professor's questions.  Some professors go easy on people with accents, while others will  treat you no different than your classmates.  How you speak is not important, what matters is what you say.  Study hard and don't be intimidated when its your turn to talk.  You'll be just fine.

I don't know the implications of citizenship on law school admissions, but I know it's easier to get financial aid (because the US gov't provides student loans, and most private loans require either US citizenship or a US cosigner).

Re: Students whose first language is not English.
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2004, 06:39:27 AM »
I would not worry about a slight accent. If I went to a school in the New England, I am sure that my southern accent would make me stick out almost as much as a Frenchman or other European. The same is true if the migration was north to south.

Actually, my accent is mild by southern standard but the first time I said "We're fixin' togo git summin' to eat,   Y'all waunto" to a group of Bostonians or Mainers they would wonder what planet I was from.

I have class with a native Columbian who has a thick accent but I think she does well on the exams because she understands the material and writes the language well.


Re: Students whose first language is not English.
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2004, 10:45:18 AM »
If you are fluent in written and spoken English, an accent should be no barrier. 

If it keeps you out of a school, get a good lawyer and sue!   ;)

Re: Students whose first language is not English.
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2004, 06:08:09 PM »
Charles, I think you have a great LSAT. Congrats on getting in.

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