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University of Michigan Law School

Minorities

Legal Education

2013

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Transformative Potential Of Attorney Bilingualism, Jayesh M. Rathod Apr 2013

The Transformative Potential Of Attorney Bilingualism, Jayesh M. Rathod

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In contemporary U.S. law practice, attorney bilingualism is increasingly valued, primarily because it allows lawyers to work more efficiently and to pursue a broader range of professional opportunities. This purely functionalist conceptualization of attorney bilingualism, however, ignores the surprising ways in which multilingualism can enhance a lawyer's professional work and can strengthen and reshape relationships among actors in the U.S. legal milieu. Drawing upon research from psychology, linguistics, and other disciplines, this Article advances a theory of the transformative potential of attorney bilingualism. Looking first to the development of lawyers themselves, the Article posits that attorneys who ...