Does Anyone Not Speak English Anymore?

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Comments (42)

Donald_ in New Jersey

62 months ago

I'm applying to paralegal jobs here in NYC, and I would estiamte that over 50% of the job postings require fluency in a foreign language, which I don't have. Why is there such a need for paralegals to speak foreign languages? Why can't people learn English? I am really pissed because it makes it MUCH harder for me to get a job. Is this a NYC thing, or is it a requirement nationally?

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Donald_ in New Jersey

62 months ago

I se what your saying. However, it is not just Spanish that firms want. They want fluence in German, French, Arabic, etc. Seriously, has it ever occurred to these firms that maybe they are looking for someone who does not exist? How many French speaking paralegals are there in NYC? I doubt there are too many.

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Mindy in Ripon, Wisconsin

62 months ago

Donald_ in New Jersey said: I'm applying to paralegal jobs here in NYC, and I would estiamte that over 50% of the job postings require fluency in a foreign language, which I don't have. Why is there such a need for paralegals to speak foreign languages? Why can't people learn English? I am really pissed because it makes it MUCH harder for me to get a job. Is this a NYC thing, or is it a requirement nationally?

The same requirement is popping up on job postings in Wisconsin for customer service rep jobs. Some of these jobs pay only $2.00 more per hour than the new minimum wage of $7.25, which goes into effect on July 24th. One would have to seriously consider delivering newspapers or babysitting. No one should have to speak a second language for a low paying job. I'm sure the salaries are much higher out in New York, but here it's the absolute pits.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

I have been out of work for serveral months. I have had several interviews and decided to learn spanish. Two firms contemplated extending me an offer. However, they needed a Spanish speaker. Learning another language is a challenge and I look forward to visiting Latin America if I ever get a job.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California said: I have been out of work for serveral months. I have had several interviews and decided to learn spanish. Two firms contemplated extending me an offer. However, they needed a Spanish speaker. Learning another language is a challenge and I look forward to visiting Latin America if I ever get a job.

Thanks!

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Thanks!

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

58 months ago

You have to think of who the law firms' clients are. If their clients are individual people living in the community, then law firm workers have to know the languages of the community.

If the law firms' clients are companies, then English only is fine. Find a job where the law firm represents companies.

It's been that way for awhile here.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

I agree. Inasmuch as I am not fluent in Spanish, my job search is a real challenge in many practice areas and/or small to mediam size law firms. With respect to positions in large corporations, Spanish is not essential, but available positions are few to none. However as legal service professionals we must have the ability to communicate with our clients, and learning Spanish as a second language is essential in Los Angeles. It is frustrating at times, but in our profession we must be open minded and have the ability to adapt to change.

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Donald_ in New Jersey

58 months ago

There is no way I am learning a second language. Forget it. Let the law firm hire an interpreter.

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Medwin in Gahanna, Ohio

58 months ago

Jobs are hard to come by. I speak fluently English, French as well as three other African languages. Additionally, I have to master's degree (MBA and Public Administration). Still I am having tough time getting something. Sure I am switching career, but dang!

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Donald_ in New Jersey

58 months ago

Those are some impressive credentials. I think youc an do better than paralegal. Also, some emoployers might view you as over qualified and maybe that is why your not getting any calls. If your applying to paralegal jobs, especially entry level ones, I think you would want to leave your MBA and MPA off your resume.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Many firms are cutting costs to clients by retaining staff who speak languages other than English. Interpreters are normally hired to translate and certify depo's and various documents that are needed to determine rulings. Learning another language is worth a try in this economy.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

I feel your pain. Glad I was able to pay off my student loans. Now I just worry about paying the rent and utilities.

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Donald_ in Ridgefield, New Jersey

58 months ago

"I should think a government entity or even the U.N. would find your abilities valuable, particularly with your languages and especially with your Public Administration degree. Have you tried the State Department? Best of luck with your job search."

Those are good places to work, but they would require Medwin to leave Ohio and relocate to a more expensive region.

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Medwin in Gahanna, Ohio

58 months ago

Donald_ in Ridgefield, New Jersey said: "I should think a government entity or even the U.N. would find your abilities valuable, particularly with your languages and especially with your Public Administration degree. Have you tried the State Department? Best of luck with your job search."

Those are good places to work, but they would require Medwin to leave Ohio and relocate to a more expensive region.

Don, I am preparing to move to the DC/Virginia area. I should have done so a long time ago.

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Donald

58 months ago

I don't know much about the hiring process at the UN, but it is common knowledge that the UN is very corrupt so I would not get my hopes up.

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Medwin in Gahanna, Ohio

58 months ago

Thanks all!
Your postings are very much appreciated, especially in these times of uncertainty and self-doubt.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

You are all great! Looking forward to hearing about someone landing a job soon, notwithstanding having to learn a second language! Hang in there!

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

This is the United States. In this country, it should havee to be a necessity to speak Spanish to make yourself more employable. In some jobs, it may be necessary - but it should not be a necessity for the average job market.

That is not what our Constitution intended.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Mary, I am not sure if fluency in a second language in order to secure employment is protected under the US Constitution.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Denver: I agree. However, I believe only a few states have adopted English as the official language. Unfortunate for of us English only speakers!

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California said: Hi Denver: I agree. However, I believe only a few states have adopted English as the official language. Unfortunate for of us English only speakers!

WHAT?????? I have a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. English is the official language in the United States. It does not have to be adopted.

Also, if businessmen are doing business, and they are each from a different country, (say one speaks Chinest and the other French) English is the official language to be used.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

I can see personal injury attorneys wanting someone who speaks Spanish - but when I see insurance defense jobs for assistant and paralegal, and they require Spanish, there's something wrong.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Denver: Did not mean to upset you. I recall hearing in the news some time ago that either the AZ or New Mexico legislature was considering legislation deeming English as the official language of the state of AZ or NM. I recall that there was a lot of public debate. I do not recall what happened. I also have a BA and an MBA, and believe that our degrees are not relevant to this discussion. It would be great if everyone spoke English, but the reality is there are many people who do not. We all have to deal with it.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Mary: It is frustrating. I work in transactional practice areas, and there are many jobs advertised that say "Fluent Spanish and English required and/or preferred". Accordingly, many of us are eliminated from competing for the job. Notwithstanding a paralegal certificate, BA and MBA!

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Donald_ in Ridgefield, New Jersey

58 months ago

The only paralegal jobs I can see legitimately require a Spanish speaker are for immigration. There is absolutely no reason why any other area should require Spanish speakers. And why don't I ever see attorney ads require fluency in Spanish? Why is the language burden placed on the paralegal?

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Donald, it is a puzzling as to the second language requirement for paralegals. It is my understanding that any firm may elect to require a fluency in a second language if a percentage of the "paying" client base are non English speakers. Non English speakers require various legal services . . . not just immigration. I just completed a temp project wherein we summarized depositions and contracts translated from Japanese to English. The legal issues were not immigration.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Denver: I do not believe that attorneys who service non English speaking clients have borderline personalities. The market place is not "what it should be"! The market place is "what it is". I am enjoying my Saturday Spanish classes, looking forward to full time employment, and getting paid for servicing clients who speak English, Spanish, or whatever language is necessary. Get real and lighten up!

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Denver, Sorry I misunderstood. Sounds like you have a problem working for attorneys . . . maybe you should look into another profession. I love my work, and am considering law school when the economy gets better, and I get a job. Best of luck to you.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

If you say so! Take it for what it is worth! In any event good luck to you in your job search. I am keeping an open mind and staying positive!

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

58 months ago

Well, here in Texas, having Spanish is a requirement for any kind of plaintiff's work. I was on the defense side of litigation, but all of my counterparts at the plaintiff's firms who were suing our clients were bi-lingual. Every one of them without fail. None had any college, although most were very bright. I bet they made $10.00/hour.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Dallas: Salary sounds rather low for for the Spanish speaking paralegals you describe. In my paralegal class at UCLA about 4 years ago, at least 30% of the students spoke Spanish,Japanese or Chinese. Since admission to the program required that all have a college degree, I believe that these folks are making more that $10.00/hour.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Denver: I enrolled in a paralegal program while I was finishing my MBA. Now I understand your attitude about lawyers and persons who are not fluent in English. Eight years is a long time to be a paralegal. As paralegals we specialize in certain practice areas, and sometimes our specialized skills are not needed in the market place. Accordingly our skills are limited. That is why I am learning Spanish, and hoping to enter law school part time. I have been a paralegal for 5 years, and in consideration of the limited number of positions for transactional paralegals it is in our best interests to consider other career options. I have submitted applications to a few non-profits, and some property management firms. I am not picky!

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Denver: My intention was not to patronize you. You just seem bitter about the legal profession. I was only suggesting that we all consider other employment options in this present job market, especially if there are limited positions in our profession. You have 11 years of experience as a paralegal, and are looking for work, and I have 5 years. What does that tell you? I will be 40 years old in 8 years, and if there is no change in the economy, looking for a job will be a lot harder.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Denver: Hopefully the job market will pick up soon. My mother is almost 60, and was laid off from the bank after being a loyal employee for 12 years. She was unable to find work in banking, and landed a teaching job at a charter school. My mom says that she was hired because of her years of experience in the work force. The school even paid for her to take courses to update her teaching credential. My mom's only complaint is that sometimes the kids drive her crazy, and the salary. Mom has no money for fun stuff. There are jobs out there, and hopefully we can both find something in the interim until the economy gets better. Toooo bad there are no bail outs coming our way. Take care Denver, and hang in there. Signing off, have a early class tomorrow.

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Donald

58 months ago

This is one of the reasons I' going to get a 2nd degree in accounting. My goal would be to do accounting for a FOrtune 500 so that this way I don't need to comunicate with clients everyday and, as a result, I DON'T NEED TO LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE!

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Don: Great idea! There seem to be more jobs available for CPA's than paralegals, lawyers or MBA's!

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Donald in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

58 months ago

The big fur is still an option, but they tend to only keep their new hires for 2 years so it's not a good long term career path. Most people work their just to get the experience to become a CPA and to find a job with less hours.

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dh in Northern CA, California

58 months ago

Donald in Cliffside Park, New Jersey said: The big fur is still an option, but they tend to only keep their new hires for 2 years so it's not a good long term career path. Most people work their just to get the experience to become a CPA and to find a job with less hours.

My ex is a former accountant from Ernst & Young. Now he's a tax atty. He wasn't happy doing either one. I think what you said about most people working there for experience is probably true. My ex told me that a lot of the guys fresh out of college (that's when he was hired) will usually leave the "Big-Four" firm for accounting positions in a firm who was one of their clients while working at the Big Four firm. My ex worked at E&Y 3 years then quit to go to law school, which he now regrets.

I worked in the DeLoitte & Touche bldg in OC and met a young man - late 20's - who was looking for an accounting position with a corporation. He, too, was hired at D&T out of college.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

I was on craigslist for legal employment last week. Someone was wanting a court reporter who spoke Spanish to do a depo in Spanish. That must have been a rare sitution - the whole depo in Spanish. Whatever happened to the idea of getting an interpreter and doing the Depo in English. For American courts, that depo had to be transcribed in English.

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Paralegal Looking For Work in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Hi Mary: Maybe the person being deposed wanted a copy of the depo in his/her native language Spanish. Likely that the deposed person is unable to read English. As you probably know, a significant percentage of California's population are Spanish speakers and they need legal services in all practice areas. Change is hard for some people, but I am up to the challenge. Learning Spanish is hard. I have a great study mate who is quickly learning the language and helping me through the course.

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dh in Northern CA, California

58 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: I was on craigslist for legal employment last week. Someone was wanting a court reporter who spoke Spanish to do a depo in Spanish. That must have been a rare sitution - the whole depo in Spanish. Whatever happened to the idea of getting an interpreter and doing the Depo in English. For American courts, that depo had to be transcribed in English.

Yeah, no kidding. My area is being taken over by Russians. A few years ago when I scheduled a depo, I also had to track down a Serbian (I think I recall that correctly.) interpreter.

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