What are some perks of working as a legal interpreter?
Competitive salary: The freelance rate in federal courts for professionally qualified or certified interpreters, as of January 2008, was $376 per day, $204 per half-day (up to 4 hours), and $53 per hour or part thereof for overtime. The federal court rate for non-certified or language-skilled interpreters was $181 per day, $100 per half-day, and $31 per hour overtime.
For interpreters working in full-time positions for state or federal courts, starting salary may range from $30,000 to $80,000 a year. If only jury duty was compensated this much!
Positive job outlook: From 2012-2022, employment for translators and interpreters is projected to grow 46%--much faster than most fields-- due to globalization and the influx of immigrants in the US. If there’s anything one can depend on, it’s that the courts will never be lacking of cases—or interpreters to help with them.
Seeing the difference you make first-hand: The prestige and salary of a legal interpreter are all well and good, but the most fulfilling aspect of the job is helping people—often those who belong to the most disadvantaged groups in society. Clients have a hard time navigating legal mumbo jumbo in their native language, so by overcoming language barriers and the technicalities of the court system, the interpreting you provide truly impacts the lives of the people you serve.
A Day in the Life
The need for accurate and comprehensive legal interpreting is great, but court systems do not always recognize the importance of a certified interpreter. The case of Alejandro Ramirez illustrates how a lack of proper interpreting training can lead to severely unjust consequences for the client:
Alejandro Ramirez, a 20-year-old Mexican national who had arrived in the United States for the first time in January 1997, was arrested for the shooting and killing of a 35-year-old male intruder (Ramirez was innocent, but unwittingly took the fall). Police brought in a college professor who was untrained in legal interpreting and not fluent in Spanish to interpret for Ramirez during his interrogation.
>Why take our Legal Interpreting Certificate course?
Qualified, certified instructors: An experienced instructor with experience in the court system leads the lecture portion of the course. The interactive coaching sessions are offered by experienced interpreters who are native speakers of the target language.