As a Cincinnati attorney it's important for me to earn the trust of the Hispanic community.It would be great to have the Hispanic community teach me how to do this. I tried to have my staff and myself learn how to speak Spanish. Although I thought we made a fair attempt by bringing in a Spanish teacher there was just not enough time we could devote during the business day.
Luckily I have represented several bilingual clients and they have been more than willing to get on a conference call to translate. I've found if I can get the basic facts down and communicate enough to get started that the Hispanic clients that I have represented picked up enough English within 6 months that communication was simplified by their work to learn English.
Recently there was a great article on the subject with two main suggestions:
1. Become an Integral part of the Hispanic voice – Communicate with Hispanics, Not at Them
2. Don’t Marginalize Hispanic Consumers – Empower Their Identity
These things I knew intuitively as my grandfather was an Italian immigrant tailor who stayed bilingual throughout his life. Especially as a Cincinnati herida abogodos I have a niche area in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents where people unfamiliar with our civil justice legal system and insurance issues could be easily taken advantage of. This is true of Americans themselves, as what to do if you are in a car accident is not taught in school.
One thing I can promise is that I will make every effort to meet Hispanic clients where they are and communicate with them in terms that they understand, even if it means enlisting the aid of an interpreter.