A few decades ago, “language access” was not really a phrase. Litigants who did not speak English were frequently left in the dark as to their own judicial proceedings, and this carried severe consequences. The evolution of court interpreting as a profession has relied on the...

I was talking to a friend and colleague recently about all the in-person work we’re starting to get in court, both civil and criminal. She mentioned, in passing, that she had received a call to prepare a witness for trial. The conversation turned to the...

A few days ago, I was preparing the paperwork for the Wisconsin CEU (Continuing Education Units) Compliance form, and I realized that I do attend tons of workshops, in-person presentations, and virtual webinars. I have the privilege of being a NAJIT member, and as such,...

A friend of mine is certified as an interpreter in the courts of a dozen or so states. I was asking myself the other day, “Why not simply have a centralized system, in which your certification is valid in any one of the fifty states?”...

Can we please standardize the name we use to refer to our profession and those who practice it? There are so many variations on a theme: legal interpreting, community interpreting, court interpreting, public-service interpreting, judicial interpreting, and of course, the one name adopted by our...

I had my first business at the age of twenty. It was a furniture store a block away from the main plaza in downtown Celaya, Mexico. Business has been in my blood since I was born. My father was an entrepreneur and we, the sisters,...

“Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating based on national origin by, among other things, failing to provide meaningful access to individuals who are limited English proficient (LEP)” (lep.gov). In state courts, where Title VI...

THE FOLLOWING IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL DAY IN COURT.  What do you do when you are challenged? Is it professional of an interpreter to request a break? Dilemma in the courtroom! What would you have done? The following is an experience I had in a Superior Court in Georgia...

During my years of interpreting in many different areas, mostly in court and other legal settings, I have observed situations that seem, at the very least, inappropriate, unfair, and perhaps even illegal. One of the first and simplest examples I can give is an assignment I...

It was the kind of day that leaves you tired, yet proud. Your arraignment calendar that morning listed fifty-seven cases. Somewhere around your eighth interpretation, your lunch started calling. Now, however, it’s 1:28 p.m. Back to court. As you clear security, the office texts you: Hey, can you head...