From Immigration to Court Cases: The Many Roles of Interpreters in Law

When you think of interpreters, what comes to mind? Like most people, you might think of immigration or court proceedings. But interpreters play a role in many aspects of law, from basic translations to more complex tasks like acting as translators during trial proceedings.

Interpreters are essential in law enforcement and court proceedings. Still, they also play a vital role in other aspects of the legal system. For example, they help lawyers and judges communicate with people who don’t speak English, which is essential for ensuring everyone has a fair chance in court. In fact, according to the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, about 85 percent of all legal proceedings involve a translator in some way.

While most people associate interpreters with court cases and immigration, they also play a role in many other areas of law. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the many roles interpreters play in the legal system.

The Various Types of Interpreters Used in Law

There are different types of interpreters who work in law. These include both language and sign language interpreters. Many of them work with immigrants, helping them to understand the legal process and to communicate with the authorities. Others work in the courtroom, translating for defendants, witnesses, and lawyers. They need to interpret both spoken and written language accurately so that everyone involved in the case can understand what’s going on. 

Interpreters are an essential part of the legal system and play a vital role in ensuring that justice gets done.

The Training and Skills Required of Interpreters

Although you might think that an interpreter is simply a bilingual person who can help translate between two people who don’t share a common language, there is much more involved.

While the former is undoubtedly a critical role of interpreters, it’s by no means the only one. You need specialized training to work as an interpreter in a legal setting. This includes learning about legal terminology, cultural differences, and the different legal systems around the world. They also need to be able to interpret accurately and with neutrality.

Interpreters are crucial in ensuring that justice is served fairly, no matter what language you speak.

The Importance of Accuracy and Neutrality

Accuracy and neutrality are two of the most essential traits for interpreters in law.

Think about it—if interpreters aren’t accurate, they can completely change the meaning of what’s being said. And if they’re not neutral, they can influence the outcome of a case. So it’s essential that interpreters stay objective and relay the facts accurately, no matter what.

That’s why it’s so important for interpreters to have the right skills and training. They need to be able to understand legal terminology, as well as the cultural differences between the parties involved in a case. Only then can they provide an accurate and unbiased interpretation that will help move the case forward.

The Different Settings in Which Interpreters Work

Interpreters are often found in court proceedings because many people don’t speak English, and the judge needs to be able to understand them. 

However, Interpreters are found in all industries. From hospitals, helping patients who don’t speak the language communicate with doctors and nurses, to business meetings, helping make sure everyone is on the same page, or assisting with an international expansion.

As you can see, interpreters play an important part in various industries. They are essential in helping non-English speakers have their voices heard.

The Impact of Technology on Interpreting in Law

With the increasing use of technology in law, the role of interpreters is changing. And while some people might think that this means less work for interpreters, that’s not the case.

Technology is making the work of interpreters even more critical. With video conferencing, on-demand phone services, and other tools, courts and law enforcement agencies can connect with people who don’t speak English more efficiently than ever. This means interpreters are needed more than ever, and their skills are in high demand.

So what does this mean for the future of interpreting in law? Well, interpreters will continue to play a vital role in the legal system, and their skills will help lawyers and clients communicate effectively.


As you can see, the role of an interpreter is crucial, from assisting people during their immigration interviews to helping them testify in court. Without interpreters, many people would be unable to have their voices heard in legal proceedings.

Interpreters help to ensure that everyone involved in a law case has the opportunity to understand what is happening and to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

Interpreters are an essential part of the legal system, making it possible for everyone to have a voice. 

If you do not currently have an interpreting service or would like to understand better how the service works, contact us today!