Legal Interpreting Certificate

The Legal Interpreting (LI) certificate is a 20 credit hour program. It is designed to be completed in three semesters, although there is enough flexibility in the curriculum to extend the time period for additional semesters, if the student prefers a slower pace. The program is organized in a progression of courses leading the student from general concepts to increasingly complex skills and knowledge, culminating in a comprehensive skills exam and a professional practicum. It includes seven courses and is designed to give bilingual (English and Spanish) students the awareness, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as entry-level interpreters and translators in legal settings, including courts, law offices and similar environments. Employment opportunities may also be available with professional employed freelance interpreters. Although the emphasis of the program is legal interpreting, the skills gained could be applied to other interpreting and translating settings in the community, such as conference interpreting and translation of written documents.

Candidates for the Legal Interpreting certificate will be tested in their non-dominant language in order to measure knowledge and fluency in both English and Spanish, with a requirement of ACTFL Advanced Mid in Spanish or English for admission to the program.

The LI program is organized as part of the JCCC interpreter training program, although it has its own unique course prefix (LI) and curriculum. Other courses in interpreter training emphasize deaf communication and sign language (ASL/AEIP) as well as health care interpreting (HCI). LI students should enroll only in courses with the LI prefix, plus LAW 121 and ADMJ 121.

Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all courses and be able to translate and interpret with at least 80% accuracy before being permitted to enroll in LI 180, the practicum.

(Major Code 5220; State CIP Code 16.0103)

Legal Interpreting

Spring Semester

LI 130Introduction to Legal Interpreting*3
LI 140Legal Interpreting Skills I*3
LAW 121Introduction to Law3
Total Hours9

Fall Semester

LI 150Legal Interpreting Skills II*3
LI 160Spanish Legal Interpreting*3
Total Hours6


ADMJ 121Introduction to Administration of Justice3
LI 180Legal Interpreting Practicum*2
Total Hours5

Total Program Hours: 20