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Does a law degree enhance employment potential?

 
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Lazlo



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:50 pm    Post subject: Does a law degree enhance employment potential? Reply with quote

Hello:

I am soon off to Seville for my CELTA course. I know that, as a non-EU citizen the EU is off-limits, but I am wondering whether possessing a law degree (awarded in the U.S.) would afford me "extra" opportunities in Eastern Europe and/or Japan or China.

I am thinking along the lines of perhaps gaining some freelance consulting work with law firms or companies who would like a native English speaker with a legal background to look over translated documents to ensure that the English is correct within the legal context.

Any thoughts on the feasibility of this?
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 9:24 pm    Post subject: the law Reply with quote

Lazlo,

There are plenty of people around Japan who do proofreading without law degrees. It would actually be better if you had translation skills than mere proofreading talents.

Moreover, a law degree will probably not matter much at all because Japanese law is different than American law in many cases. Interesting, though, why you would consider a lower paying job such as ESL/EFL when the law pays so much. No snide remark here, just a passing thought.
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chuckie



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 10:36 pm    Post subject: different opinion . . . Reply with quote

I don't agree with Glenski - though I usually do.

My experience has been that any real life experience and/or additional substantive (key word!) education provides additional opportunity - though you may have to dig for it - as a specialty. Of course, different countries' laws are different - but your area of special knowledge is in the concepts and vocabulary - not in their local application. I have an M.Ed. and an MBA. The MBA has opened many a special door. While business is conducted differently in many countries - the basic concepts remain the same.

Your local clients/students tend to greatly value real experience and education over an ESP course - or worse, teachers who pretend to know specialties and are rather quickly found out and dismissed.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2003 6:34 am    Post subject: ok Reply with quote

One thing I forgot to add to my first remarks...

If you don't have the knowledge of Japanese to discuss law with them, you'll be at a serious disadvantage, no matter how much life experience you have in that profession.

I understand chuckie's point, and I welcome such disagreements, but I think the Japanese would see things the way I presented them, especially on the point I bring here. You're not dealing with a western point of view that says experience is important. As an example, look at the way resumes are handled differently. In the west, we list our accomplishments and skills, while in Japan, the resume simply lists certificates, licenses, and dates & company names where you worked.

Has anyone got experience to the contrary? I would be eager to know either way.
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Lazlo



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2003 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input. I may wind up in eastern Europe, too. My thoughts were more in the direction of being able to proofread/edit documents written in/translated to English by, say, a Japanese or European firm, and, using my legal background, ensure that what they're planning to send over to an American, Canadian, British, etc. firm makes sense and says what they intend it to say.

I've not practiced in about seven years or so. Prior to now I was working as an attorney editor for a legal publishing company.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12246
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 6:30 am    Post subject: law and EFL Reply with quote

What about trying to get into English forSpecial Purposes : "English for Lawyers" ? Some universities might be interested but how do you contact them ? Over to you !
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Durian Man



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 9:28 pm    Post subject: Lawyers Reply with quote

We had a few lawyers pass through. One informed us of the high, six figured salary he had earned? The other lasted one week, they both did mid-night runs. I believe their training gave them little tolerance for what they perceived as injustices and difficult situations to adjust to.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12246
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:19 am    Post subject: Law Graduates EFLing Reply with quote

I have come across a number of teachers in the field who had originally studied Law. I never have met anyone who got anything special becasue they had studies Law. There might be ESP openings but I have no direct evidence.
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jes



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a law degree and got involved in the esol field right after law school. My experience tells me that your degree and experience will likely help you quite a bit--both in general because of the perceived prestige of your degree--and specifically in working with or for a law firm. I found this to be true in Asia, ME, and Europe. Drop me a line if you want specifics.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've worked with 2 different lawyers in Japan and Korea.

They did the same job and seemed to be treated no differently than anyone else.

I have no idea why they were doing what they were doing instead of practicing law but they seemed to like teaching English conversation and enjoyed living in Korea and Japan.

But would a lawyer make more or less back in Canada or the U.S. than teaching in Japan?

I guess you'd have to tell me what kind of law you were practicing and where.
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Bertrand



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 4:20 am    Post subject: This would not help with EF English First Reply with quote

Having a law degree would not help with a chain of fast language outlets such as EF (MacEF). They don't like people to obey the law and/or follow suggestions. They want people who will do as they are told.
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