Spanish for Legal Professionals Certificate

Build language skills to better serve your legal clients

Program Fast Facts

  • Start date: September 12, 2024
  • Live online classes meet
    Thursdays 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. CDT
    +4 hours/week of self-paced study
  • Online
  • 9 weeks
  • 1,695 Priority Tuition
    (expires 8/29/24)
    $1,945 Standard Tuition

Spanish for Legal Professionals

Why Study Legal Spanish at SMU?

World-class reputation of SMU

Convenient Schedule

Weekly live online sessions and self-paced study content provide a balance of peer support and individual learning.

See courses schedule

Distinguished faculty and highly experienced practitioners

Learn from SMU Faculty

Your instructor is an attorney and faculty member from SMU’s Department of World Languages and Literatures

Meet your instructor

Convenient online classes

Gain Real-World Experience

Practice your skills in one-on-one coaching sessions with native Spanish speakers from various countries.

Learn how to get started

SMU Spanish for Legal Professionals Certificate badge image

Show Off Your Skills

Earn a digital badge to add to your resume and LinkedIn profile to demonstrate your ability to conduct legal processes and business in Spanish without an interpreter.

Learn more

Spanish-Speaking Legal Professionals are in High Demand

Foreign language skills for legal professionals are in high demand, according to a survey by Robert Half Legal. With the nation’s growing Hispanic population, law firms, corporate legal departments and nonprofits have a need for Spanish-speaking attorneys, legal administrators, paralegals and legal advocates. There is particular demand for bilingual legal professionals with experience in employment-based and family-based immigration law as well as translation work for litigation or Latin American business expansion.

Further your career by adding language skills to your resume

The SMU Spanish for Legal Professionals Certificate program is designed for working legal professionals who want to gain confidence communicating in Spanish with clients in a professional legal setting. Through a communicative and hands-on approach, this program will help you build a foundation for continuous development of your Spanish language skills, specifically tailored to the legal field.

The SMU Spanish for Legal Professionals Certificate program is approved for Continuing Legal Education credit through the State Bar of Texas.

Upcoming Start Dates

September 12

Live Online Classes

Thursdays, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. CDT

+4 hours/week of self-paced study

9 weeks

February TBD

Live Online Classes

Thursdays, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. CDT

+4 hours/week of self-paced study

9 weeks

Student Testimonial

"I really enjoyed having a formal class structure for practicing language in practical ways. My language study can feel aimless, [but] this course gave me clear direction, goals and application examples."

–Jami Jeffcoat, February 2023

Miroslava Detcheva

Instructor Highlight

Miroslava Detcheva's combined teaching and legal experience bring unique expertise to SMU's professional education programs. Miroslava is a Senior Lecturer in Spanish in SMU's Department of World Languages and Literatures, where she teaches a variety of Spanish language and culture courses. In addition to her long-term teaching experience at the university level, she also is a graduate of SMU's Dedman School of Law and a licensed immigration attorney focusing on employment and business immigration law. Miroslava was inspired to pursue a second career in law while studying in Mexico and traveling throughout Latin America. Her linguistics skills and cultural competence have inspired and impacted her legal practice.  Read more.

Did you know?


Though Dallas’s population is almost 40% Hispanic, fewer than 3% of partners at leading local law firms are Hispanic according to the Dallas Diversity Task Force.


Of law firms with open positions, 42% identified a need for more bilingual attorneys, according to a survey commissioned by Robert Half Legal; 88% of those firms identified Spanish-speaking attorneys as most-needed.

International business is the primary impetus for firms (or corporate legal departments) to seek attorneys with bilingual capabilities; some firms also include bilingual attorneys as part of a marketing strategy to attract non-English-speaking clients, according to Robert Half.