5 Helpful Languages for American Paralegals to Learn

Helpful Languages for American Paralegals to Learn

American Paralegals Should Learn One of These Five Languages

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Mandarin
  • Arabic
  • American Sign Language

When a person works as a paralegal in the United States, it can be helpful to learn one of these five languages. A growing number of immigrants and asylum seekers means that a person may need to attend many court events for the immigration process, and they may not yet know English well enough to be understood. A paralegal who can communicate in one or more of these five languages could provide optimal service for people who are going through the court process.

Related resource: The 19 Cheapest ABA Approved Online Paralegal Programs

1. Spanish

After English, Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the United States. Many of the asylum seekers who have cases going through the court system are from Mexico, Central America, or South America, which are areas where Spanish is the official or most commonly spoken language. Being able to speak, read and write in Spanish could make a difference in a paralegal’s ability to get hired when there are a lot of candidates for a job and in their ability to negotiate for a pay raise.

2. French

Many people in the United States speak French as their native language or as one of the languages spoken in their nation of origin. Large numbers of people from French-speaking African countries, Caribbean nations, Europe, and Quebec, Canada may need to go through the American court system as a part of naturalization, asylum, citizenship, and other legal matters. An American paralegal who can speak, read, and write in French would be able to provide good customer service to such individuals.

3. Mandarin

China is an economic powerhouse, and American paralegals who are fluent in Mandarin or other languages and dialects that are spoken in China may find their services in high demand. Paralegals who primarily work in business and trade law could find fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese, or Hunanese an in-demand skill. Paralegals who work in international relations could also benefit from learning Mandarin or another Chinese dialect.

4. Arabic

There is a considerable shortage of Americans who can also speak Arabic. The economic strength of the Middle East means that more business transactions and trade occurs between Arabic-speaking nations and the USA. An American paralegal who is fluent in Arabic may be able to find employment faster and earn a higher salary because of their ability to interpret and translate in Arabic. Some areas of the United States have a higher concentration of Arabic speakers, including southeast Michigan, the New York City metro area, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul region of Minnesota.

5. American Sign Language

According to Investopedia, another good language for an American paralegal to learn is American Sign Language. Nearly 28 million Americans have some level of hearing loss. As Americans age, hearing loss becomes more prevalent. People who are hearing-impaired may need to attend different types of court proceedings, such as disability cases or estate probate processes. The ability to communicate in American Sign Language could also yield a pay raise for an American paralegal.

Being bilingual or multi-lingual can help a person gain employment or advance in any type of career. Within the legal system, paralegals who speak two or more languages will be able to provide exemplary service to the clients, courtroom staff, other legal team members, and others. Each of these five helpful languages for American paralegals to learn can be studied at community colleges, four-year colleges, universities, and other educational venues.