Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Global Skills for U.S. JD Students

“The practice of law in the United States is changing, rapidly advancing the U.S. legal profession to a truly global stage. Nearly 10 years ago, 44% of early career U.S. lawyers were already dealing with international or trans-national issues within their first six years of practice. Today, as the business world becomes less U.S.-focused, as law firms search for new revenue streams and as American internal demographics become more diverse, we can expect that all U.S. lawyers will eventually need to be prepared for global practice.

Unsurprisingly, law firms are adapting. More than 90% of the 100 top-grossing law firms in the United States identified by the American Lawyer (referred to as Am Law 100 firms) had offices outside the U.S. by 2014. Of the 100 top-grossing global firms identified by the American Lawyer (referred to as The Global 100), 70% have offices in five or more countries and the most globally engaged firm, Baker & McKenzie, has roots in 47.”

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Languages do matter!

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