A three-step guide
1 - make sure he or she actually speaks English;
2 - make sure he or she actually speaks English;
3 - make sure he or she knows how to handle your case.
As the ranking suggests, points #1 and #2 should bother you the most - and first.
Unless you’re just lurking around, if you’re reading this post, chances are Italian is not your native language.
Most jobs are tough to carry out even in our own language, and law is no exception - quite the contrary, in fact, granted the plethora of technical terms involved.
Therefore, it shouldn’t take you by surprise that dealing with a foreign client is a challenge by itself for almost any lawyer - especially for Italians, whose foreign language proficiency isn’t exactly what they have built their reputation on over the years (still, it looks like we are on a par with the Spanish and way better than the Greeks!).
The relationship between lawyer and client is - you guessed it - a relationship, and relationships are built on communication, so it's no wonder that language plays such a big role.
If you’re looking for a lawyer in Italy to work with in English, please - please! - choose carefully by following these simple rules:
- take a look at the lawfirm website (it should feature an English version and no, Google Translate gives no credit);
- drop an e-mail and throw a few sneaky idioms in it;
- eventually, don’t miss out on the opportunity to phone the firm out of the blue: if English is really spoken, a professional will be glad to have a chat and prove it on-the-spot.
Once the language issue is ruled out, make yourself comfortable and just rely on the usual drivers - competence, experience, attentiveness, you name it: with a bit of luck, you’re going to nail it; should it go wrong, your nuanced complaint will be perfectly understood.
But this is already point #3, which we’ll address in detail very soon - so please stay tuned!
Check our next article: Italian lawyer and foreign client: how to start working together
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