Legal Interpreters have long been recognized as specialists within the field of ASL-English interpreting. The way legal interpreting work is performed is rooted in the traditions of the field of spoken language interpreting and the legal community. Practitioners, over time, have developed and refined practices and theories by drawing on the profession’s scholarship. As more scholarship and research emerge, practices improve and change.
The NCIEC Legal Interpreting work group from the 2005-2010 grant cycle sought to further this specialization within the field of ASL-English interpreting by creating an open exchange of ideas, experience and knowledge from various partnerships to deepen the field’s understanding of the work of interpreters in legal and court settings. The partnerships involved experts, practitioners, educators and consumers. The resulting work products are found on the Best Practice and Literature Archive pages.
Resources on Legal Interpreting
The NCIEC developed the following products in support of the judiciary and interpreters specializing in legal interpreting.
- The Institute for Legal Interpreting (ILI): Highly Effective Court Interpreting Teams in Action Videos and Workbook were designed to engage practitioners in the analysis and application of practices and protocol associated with Deaf-hearing interpreting teams working in legal settings. They focus on the work of four teams interpreting different aspects of a child custody civil proceeding. The videos and associated workbook activities include preparation for interpreting the different aspects of the proceeding, interpreting expert testimony, interpreting Deaf witness testimony, using consecutive interpreting and notetaking, and how to interface with court personnel as part of the management of the interpreting process. Another important part of the analysis activities is an exploration of interpreter-initiated utterances that occur during the interpreting process and gaining insight into the purpose, function, and manner in which such interventions occur. The highly popular materials were distributed at the 2014 ILI Conference and made available for limited distribution after the conference. The 126-page workbook designed to guide independent or group study of the interpretations is available for download. Check back for information about online release of the video component!
- Toward Effective Practices: Competencies of Interpreters Specializing in Legal and Court Interpreting document that details the skills, knowledge and attributes necessary for effective work in these settings.
- A Best Practices of ASL-English Interpreters in Legal and Court Settings document detailing 24 best practices to employ when working in legal and court settings—including law enforcement.
- Interpreting in the Immigration Settings: Summary of Focus Groups
- The Use of Remote Technology in Legal Interpreting: Focus Groups Summary