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Languages-in-law: benefits of a linguistic lawyer


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What’s been clear so far in my legal journey is that languages in the legal industry can go a long way. Not only are language skills beneficial when you’re on holiday, but they can also help to set you apart when you’re trying to obtain a training contract, a new client or project. In this blog post, I’ll briefly look at the ways in which the comprehension of languages can benefit any aspiring, future and current lawyer. 

Client focus 

If you currently work or aspire to work in an international firm, you’re likely to have clients who are either based overseas, have businesses overseas or have clients in other jurisdictions. With an additional language, you’ll be able to communicate more widely. Even if you’re not fluent in a language but know enough to pick up on key points, this will improve your understanding of the language. This way you’ll be able to get involved in more cases and clients that have an international reach. What better way to do that than to make your clients feel at ease by demonstrating your understanding of their language, culture and legal system.

Translation to assist other teams

Even in legal practice in England, you’re likely to have other teams who will benefit from the use of your language skills. This can include assisting other teams in the translations, reviewing foreign documents or corresponding with overseas clients and third parties. By doing so, you’ll be assisting the team to understand the facts of the matter at hand and this will also help to progress the matter to the next stage. Combining law with language skills gives you an extra layer of complexity in the work you do. It’ll enable you to explore new legal systems that may even assist you in your comprehension of a foreign legal system that you practise in or wish to practise in.

Practise in other jurisdictions 

The globalisation of the legal industry means that international firms will value your language skills. For example, if we were to look at some of the richest economic markets such as China, your language can help to grow your firm’s presence in another jurisdiction and prove you to be a great asset when working on corporate issues (eg, negotiating business deals). That said, let us not forget that in areas of law such as international arbitration, knowing additional languages is indispensable and can get you involved in cross-border disputes. Languages can also be key to developing a global mindset which is often a must for every lawyer.

Working abroad and overseas secondment opportunities 

As well as being able to increase your employment prospects, additional language skills open up opportunities for you to work abroad or to even take an overseas secondment. Even if language skills aren’t specified for your training contract or any other employment contract, the language skills you develop can come in handy when you’re targeting overseas opportunities to improve your professional life. Who knows you may even find yourself also qualifying in another jurisdiction to become a dual-qualified lawyer.

The same benefits can be said for the English language. English speakers are also in high demand in European and international jurisdictions. So, if you’re an aspiring lawyer hoping to work in an international firm or in a practice area in which knowledge of other markets and jurisdictions would benefit you then it might be time to start developing those language skills or re-learning a language that you learnt at school. 

Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.
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