Spanish for Lawyers

Catalog No.: 512

Course Description:

This course would seek to give law students an opportunity to apply existing Spanish language skills to the specific context of legal practice, with an emphasis on client-centered lawyering on behalf of Spanish-speaking clients. The class will introduce students to Spanish legal terminology in common practice areas where lawyers work with LEP Spanish-speaking clients, including immigration and asylum law, employment law, criminal law, and other areas of general civil practice, including housing, family, and consumer protection law.

The course will also provide an introduction to the differences between the legal system of most Spanish-speaking countries and the common law legal system of the United States, as well as the practical and ethical considerations faced by lawyers representing clients with limited English proficiency.

Students will engage in simulated class exercises to learn how to use specialized legal vocabulary in client interviews and other interactions, as well as how to draft basic documents in Spanish and translate legal materials between English and Spanish. Class instruction will take place primarily in Spanish, and students are expected to have at least a working proficiency level of written and spoken Spanish language fluency to enroll in the course. If students are unsure whether their level of Spanish is adequate, we encourage them to reach out to the instructors prior to the beginning of the semester.

Certificate(s): Public Interest and Social Justice Law (List B)