Last month Immigration Rights Clinic students Shavae McKnight and Anshul Krishn organized and conducted an interpreter training event for students. The event which drew quite a large crowd, was attended by bilingual students interested in volunteering their time to help student clinicians communicate with their non-English speaking clients. This is significant since the clinics depend on student volunteers for interpreting. The training also attracted students who are not bilingual but recognize the need for interpreters in our growing multicultural society, as well as the importance of accurate communication in legal representation. Also stressed in the presentation were possible ethical duties involved in using interpreters in legal practice as well as the rules of professional responsibility triggered by its use.
Thanks to the training, the clinical program was able to expand its interpreter database significantly. It garnered interpreters in a wide range of languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Turkish, French, Polish , Urdu, Farsi and a few other languages.