HomeNews & Views Renee: Legal Aid Attorney, Leading with Spanish

Renee: Legal Aid Attorney, Leading with Spanish

 

Professionals across industries and skill levels are sharing how they Lead with Languages: 

“I genuinely am a more fun, lighthearted person when I speak Spanish. […] I like to think that my personality when I speak Spanish reflects the best version of myself.”

Meet Renée—a Senior Staff Attorney in the Legal Services sector

Language: SpanishRenee photo

Grew Up In: Northern California

College: New York University; University of Michigan Law School

Majors: Self-designed major in Political Theory, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Spanish Language

Study Abroad: Barcelona, Spain in college; a summer at a nonprofit in Mexico City during law school


How do you use your language skills in your work/career?

I use my Spanish to connect with the client communities that my legal services organization serves, in particular clients who need help with immigration cases. I use it to communicate directly with clients in person and also for wider-reaching education and connection, such as through speaking engagements on Univisión television.

What is the biggest misconception Americans have about learning languages?

I think that because Americans who are native English speakers often do not learn other languages at an early age, there is a mystique built up that makes them believe that learning another language is much more difficult than it actually is. In reality, anyone can learn a second, third, or fourth language if they put in the time, effort, and humility.

Do you have an interesting, moving, or humorous anecdote featuring your language skills to share?

I genuinely am a more fun, lighthearted person when I speak Spanish. I think it’s because of the humility and sense of humor required to put myself out there and speak a second language! I like to think that my personality when I speak Spanish reflects the best version of myself.


Check out our Lead with Spanish page for information about scholarship opportunities, Spanish university programs, student blogs, and more.

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