Why Should a Lawyer Need an Interpreter?


Not everyone who approaches a lawyer can fluently communicate in English, but the official language of litigations in the US is English. Unfortunately, the law appears intimidating to many lay persons apart from the fact that many people’s level of proficiency in English isn’t often good enough.

But because many contemporary law firms represent customers from different linguistic backgrounds, while others extend their reach globally, interpretation services cannot be dispensed with.

    Consequently, a layer will need an interpreter in a situation where the client experiences language deficiency for the following reasons:

  • Before actual representation, the lawyer and the client must go through an initial interview process to establish the basis for understanding each other. This communication involves asking questions and giving specific instructions. However, that cannot happen if there is a language barrier. For instance, if there are documents involved, a Translator for Court will facilitate their correct rendition in a different language.
  • Just a basic and slight understanding of the English language will not sufficiently enable a client to comprehend all his rights. To give correct advice, a lawyer will need a lot of information conveyed rightly. And for all these to take place, there must be a Court Certified Interpreter for good communication to be established from the start.
  • The additional professional help is necessary for effective communication to take place. Message transfer from a language to another should make the meaning intended understandable and as clear as possible to the recipient.
  • Where the client is deaf, the presence of a qualified Sign Language Interpreter in Court will ensure that all the utterances are accurately interpreted and transferred in a non-judgmental and unbiased way.
  • In cases involving sensitive issues such as sexual assaults or marital laws, the services of a professional interpreter are essential. It will allow the client to explicitly express themselves without inhibitions or family interference.
  • The likelihood of having non-English speaking customers is so high in the US due to increasing immigration. So, for a law firm to competently handle all issues related to immigration there should be a professional interpreter to facilitate precise and proper communication.
  • A lawyer may be competent but might not understand the cultural nuances or semantics of a foreign language. Thus, while interviewing or representing an alien, the lawyer will have to enlist the help of a professional to enable the correct transmission of the ethical issues without any bias.
  • In matters of testimonies and depositions, only a trained interpreter will be in a position to catch and correctly convey all non-verbal cues that the deponent wishes to communicate.
  • A court appearance in a foreign land can be so unnerving. The presence of a skilled interpreter can help to settle a client’s nerves. It is a means of reassuring a person with limited proficiency in the English language that their case will not be set at a disadvantage.

Generally, in trials or legal hearings involving financial settlements, contracts, alimonies, or child custody, all parties have the right to understand and follow every step of the proceeding. A legal interpreter steps in to enable a fair exchange of all communication.

Hiring an interpreter is one way in which a law firm can improve its services by taking onboard clients from all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.