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Montreal Biglaw: do I need to know perfect French?


Andalusian2400
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Andalusian2400
  • Applicant

Hello,

 

I am thinking about applying McGill law and eventually working in Montreal.

 

I speak French semi fluently: I can write coherently but not exceptionally, I can understand day to day French but not when they talk so fast, etc

 

Is this a deal-breaker for Montreal biglaw?

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

I expect it would be difficult to secure a job and do it well with only semi-fluency, though I have no experience in the market. 

But if this is a goal of yours, why not commit to reaching full fluency over the next few years? If you work at it, you likely could become fully fluent by the time you are applying (if applying next year) or matriculating (if you already applied).

Working from what sounds like a relatively high baseline, it really ought not be too difficult to improve to full fluency. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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ccq35
  • Law Student

I agree; do what you can to improve your French prior to law school and then take some of your 1L classes in French. That said, I’ve heard from upper year friends that French fluency is preferred but not a prerequisite to working in Montreal biglaw. Firms deal with lots of work from outside Quebec that requires English fluency, and at least one firm (Blakes) provides some degree of ongoing training for lawyers who want to improve either their French or their English. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
PzabbytheLawyer
  • Lawyer

Definitely not a prerequisite. It can hurt you though, especially if you're not even making the effort. 

I wouldn't dare call myself perfectly fluent but I did the recruit and got an offer as an Anglo. It's doable. Especially at a national. But even at a regional.

 

 

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PzabbytheLawyer
  • Lawyer
10 hours ago, Jaggers said:

Pzabby is back!

I missed your cooking tips too much!

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realpseudonym
  • Lawyer

Guess who's back, back again
Pzabby’s back, tell a friend

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