From State to Federal for LOTS Interpreters

This is the title of a session I plan to present at upcoming conferences; beginning with the NAJIT conference in May. If you are an interpreter in a language other than Spanish, you may or may not know that this is the term used for you and your language pair: you are a LOTS interpreter. In the United States, the Spanish language is ubiquitous, and the need for Spanish interpreters is as well. The federal court system long ago established a procedure to certify Spanish interpreters, with one of the toughest tests in the business.

The same test is not available for other languages, because the level of need does not justify the expense of developing and administering the test. And yet, this need is still present and I am seeing the benefits of reaching out to district federal courts, at least to help them find the French interpreter they may not realize is living down the block, or across the state. Have a look at the links below to learn more about federal court, and see if you might like to let your local district court, Federal Public Defender’s Office or U.S. Attorney’s Office know you have the skills to help. If you happen to live somewhere super cool and know of the need for a French interpreter in federal court…feel free to share my contact info. Replacing Wisconsin assignments in February with Arizona or New Mexico would be a beautiful change of pace. And I am entirely open to Alaska or Vermont as well.

If you are attending NAJIT or IITA‘s conference this year, stop by and say “bonjour”,”Kon’nichiwa”, or…”aloha”.

Here are pertinent links to all things federal court:

Basic federal orientation:

*BENCH BOOK FOR JUDGES (Scripts for federal judges):

•Federal Standards for Court Interpreters:

•Federal purchase order terms and conditions:

How to sentence 101:

•Primer…or all you ever wanted to know about departures and variances:

Division into circuits:

Tax evasion, defined:

The Federal Civil Justice System:

Criminal justice jobs:


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