Legal interpreters are bilingual individuals who interpret in legal settings for persons whose primary language is not English. For those involved in a legal proceeding, communication is vital, and legal interpreters ensure justice is served by bridging language barriers.
Waubonsee offers a Certificate of Achievement in Legal Interpreting for bilingual students fluent in both English and Spanish. Legal Interpreting courses are offered at Waubonsee's Aurora Campus and Plano Campus, and are taught by qualified legal interpreters with years of courtroom experience.
The Legal Interpreting Certificate provides opportunities for each student to develop knowledge, practice skills, and receive exposure to the judicial system. This program is built upon the belief that exemplary interpreters ought to be exceptionally knowledgeable in all the realms of the judicial system, possess a sound comprehension of ethics and legal vocabulary, demonstrate the ability to accurately interpret with an effective rendition of cultural nuances, and show a willingness to polish and develop critical interpreting skills through professional development activities. This program is designed to prepare the student to challenge the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) state certification, including the oral and written exam.
A Growing Field
This legal interpreting program is the only one of its kind in the region. This program targets bilingual (English/Spanish) individuals who seek entry-level training and skills, as well as working interpreters who need more formal training. Entry level wages are significantly above minimum wage, and with experience, provide middle-class income. The current median hourly wage across the state is $21.84.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the interpreters and translators occupation to grow faster than the average through 2022. The BLS projects this occupation to grow by 46 percent with the fastest growth in the healthcare and legal fields.