The accelerating pace of globalization has prompted many workplaces to adopt new priorities. As a result, the ability to conduct business in multiple languages has rapidly become a valued skill for professional personnel and the clients they serve. Companies already requiring attorneys to perform essential functions are now hiring multilingual lawyers to help their business in additional ways.
Embracing Diversity, Expanding Client Base
Across the nation, the number of non-native English speakers continues to rise. In many other countries, they make up a majority of the population. Whether attempting to tap into an international or local market, the organization able to operate bilingually has a clear edge over the competition. The demand for proficient non-English speakers is especially prevalent in areas with large expatriate populations. A Spanish speaking attorney Houston or a Chinese-speaking attorney in San Francisco can greatly assist immigrant entrepreneurs in managing their American business interests.
Comforting Clients by Lowering the Language Barrier
Understanding the law can be hard for anyone not fluent in legalese. For someone who struggles with plain English, imagine how much of a legal document may get lost in translation. Ideally, clients should have a lawyer who speaks their own language. The ability to ask questions, receive answers, and exchange ideas in understandable terms offers a firm foundation for clients and companies to build solid relationships based on good faith.
Cutting Across Cultural Differences
The strong bonds between language and culture are well-known. The cultures that foreign clients bring to the table may vary sharply from company culture, including interpretations of legal concepts. While this can cause culture shock among executives, progressive organizations must recognize and consider alternative legal cultures. Conscientious companies hire lawyers with foreign language and cultural awareness to bridge these cultural gaps, enabling the organization to better respond to foreign clients’ needs and expectations.
For these reasons and more, bilingual attorneys are an ideal hire for companies in an increasingly globalized work environment. With current trends projected to continue, foreign language skills will only grow more valuable over time.