Legal Interpreting

Interpreting the law with the utmost accuracy.

legal interpretingLegal Interpreting

Astute, unbiased, and confidential, our legal-trained professionals are prepared to interpret the law with the utmost accuracy for court appearances, attorney meetings, or depositions

Never worked with an interpreter before? Don’t sweat it! We’ve included some helpful tips to ensure your inclusive experience goes smoothly. Still anxious? Reach out to a coordinator or ADA-specialist to ask a question or discuss how to prepare for your appointment.

Tips for Working with Legal Interpreters

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    Request an ASL event interpreter as soon as the hearing, appearance, or meeting is scheduled. You are able to cancel most appointments 48-72 hours before the request date, so do not hesitate to request an interpreter early in your planning.

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    When initially requesting services, be sure to provide details regarding the nature of the request, what role the Deaf or hard-of-hearing individual consumer has, the foreseeable length of the legal proceedings, sensitive topics that may be discussed, and any pertinent documents to be referenced.

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    Anticipate the interpreters arriving 10-20 minutes prior to your request. Ensure the interpreters have all necessary parking and security clearances so they are not delayed in arriving.

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    Be prepared to provide the interpreters with a brief synopsis of your agenda as well as copies of any documents you plan to reference during your request. If significant document translation (site translation) is required, please send the necessary documents to an ICS coordinator at least one week in advance.

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    For meetings, position the interpreter near the primary, impartial speaker with the ability to see and hear all participants. For courtroom appearances and hearings, position the interpreter next to or slightly in front of the judge’s desk or bench. Avoid placing the interpreter in front of a bright background such as a window or lamp.

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    If you intend to show a video, ensure you have captions “on” or notify the interpreter in advance if captions are unavailable. Ensure the interpreter is well lit so they may interpret in lieu of captions. Ideally limit interpreted media to 15 minutes as it is fatiguing for Deaf and hard-of-hearing participants to follow two sources of information.

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    Request that participants speak clearly and one at a time. Avoid speaking with your back to Deaf or hard-of-hearing participants. Repeat questions or comments made out of sight of the Deaf or hard-of-hearing participant and clarify who the speaker was if possible.

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    Be patient when soliciting questions or responses from participants as the interpreter may be as much as 5-seconds behind the pace of talk.

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    Depending on the nature of the legal request, a Deaf Interpreter (CDI/DI) may be warranted for accuracy of the record. Deaf Interpreters provide a clearer message but may take slightly longer in the service delivery. Deaf Interpreters require the assistance of a Hearing Interpreter team.

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    Ensure you look directly at the Deaf and hard-of-hearing participants when engaging with them. Avoid looking at the interpreter and be patient before interrupting them while working. It is not necessary to introduce interpreters unless desired.

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    Respect the interpreter’s scheduled time. Freelance interpreters provide services for multiple requests every day. Holding an interpreter past your confirmed time postpones their schedule and results in additional invoice charges.

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    Respect and trust the interpreter. Professional interpreters are sworn to confidentiality and a Code of Professional Conduct by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Trust that interpreters will not disclose anything discussed during their work, and respect that they are not “tape recorders” able to recite what was previously interpreted.