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Legal & Community Interpreting Program


Our Legal and Community Interpreting curriculum is designed to prepare students who are proficient in English and Spanish for careers in legal and community interpretation. Additionally, the program will enhance the skill sets of working interpreters who want to improve their interpreting and knowledge of terminology and development of new skills.

Did you know that language interpretation is one of the most rapidly growing careers in California? Now more than ever, given the large percentage of people who don’t speak English in California, interpreters are needed in a wide variety of venues, including immigration courts, criminal courts, community organizations and hospitals. Laney College’s Legal and Community Interpreting Program trains interpreters to serve these needs.

Legal and community interpreting are specialized fields that offer various career opportunities for individuals with language proficiency and cultural understanding. Here are some potential career paths and opportunities in legal and community interpreting:
  1. Court Interpreter:
    • Court interpreters work in legal settings, helping individuals who do not speak the language of the court to understand and communicate effectively. They may interpret during court hearings, trials, depositions, and other legal proceedings.
  2. Legal Translator:
    • Legal translators specialize in translating legal documents, such as contracts, legal briefs, and other legal texts. They ensure accuracy and maintain the legal terminology of the source text.
  3. Community Interpreter:
    • Community interpreters work in various community settings, such as hospitals, schools, social services, and nonprofit organizations. They assist individuals who speak different languages in accessing essential services and participating in community activities.
  4. Medical Interpreter:
    • Medical interpreters facilitate communication between healthcare providers and patients who speak different languages. They play a crucial role in ensuring accurate and culturally sensitive communication in healthcare settings.
  5. Conference Interpreter:
    • Conference interpreters work in international conferences and meetings, providing real-time interpretation for participants who speak different languages. This field may require specialized training and expertise in a particular subject matter.
  6. Government Interpreter:
    • Government interpreters may work for government agencies, providing language support in various capacities, such as immigration services, law enforcement, and diplomatic functions.
  7. Freelance Interpreter/Translator:
    • Many interpreters choose to work as freelancers, providing their services on a contract basis. This allows them to work with a variety of clients and settings.
  8. Language Service Provider (LSP):
    • Some individuals choose to work for language service providers, companies that offer language-related services, including interpretation and translation. LSPs may serve clients in diverse industries, including legal and community settings.
  9. Educator/Trainer:
    • Experienced interpreters may pursue careers in education, training the next generation of interpreters. This can involve teaching in academic institutions or providing training workshops and courses.
  10. Cultural Liaison:
    • Some interpreters work as cultural liaisons, helping organizations bridge cultural gaps and enhance communication between diverse groups.
  11. Social Services Interpreter:
    • Social services interpreters assist individuals in accessing social welfare services, counseling, and other support systems.

To pursue a career in legal and community interpreting, individuals often need to acquire relevant education, training, and certifications. Many countries and regions have specific requirements and certifications for interpreters working in legal settings to ensure a high standard of professionalism and accuracy. Additionally, language proficiency, cultural competence, and ethical considerations are crucial aspects of a successful career in this field.

Spanish interpreter assisting medical staff and patient.

Spanish interpreter assisting medical staff and patient