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Legal Interpreting Certificate

The need for qualified professional legal interpreters continues to increase in Wisconsin and throughout the country. With over 55 different languages used in Wisconsin courts, well-trained interpreters who possess the knowledge, skills and abilities required to work in this specialized area within our courts and other legal environments are in demand. The Legal Interpreting Certificate program is designed to help you develop and enhance your capabilities as a professional interpreter for work within legal settings.

This live online/in-person training program is comprised of seven courses that run over a 12-month period for a total of 280 interactive hours. Work with the instructor, Debra Gorra Barash, and a cohort of 20 participants (sign language and spoken language interpreters being trained together) to achieve the benefits of language and cultural education and exchange. Program completion includes simulated hearings and mock trial experience. Upon completion, those who interpret where no legal interpreting certification exam exists will have the opportunity to be listed on the certified level of the WI Court Roster of Interpreters.

Prerequisites include:

Additional resources:


Learning Outcomes

  • Apply interpreting skills to work in legal settings
  • Identify standards of practice and various ethical issues that commonly arise within legal environments
  • Integrate principles and protocols, and roles and responsibilities of legal interpreting
  • Identify, evaluate and employ strategies to interpret legal vocabulary, legal language and legal proceedings
  • Compare and contrast how spoken language and sign language interpreters function in legal settings and work together on assigned cases
  • Organize and manage a multitude of collaborative teams effectively when working with various languages and cultures in legal settings
  • Examine laws that affect legal interpreting
  • Compile resources and strategies to properly prepare for legal interpreting work and continued professional development


View the Outline.


1. Introduction to Legal Interpreting
1.1. What is a “legal” environment/setting (and what isn’t)
1.2. Cultural aspects in legal interpreting and how culture influences legal interpreting
1.3. Power dynamics in legal interpreting

2. Ethics and Laws That Govern Legal Interpreting
2.1. SCR 63 – Code of Ethics for Court Interpreters (and other codes)
2.2. Laws relating to legal interpreting
2.3. How to properly prepare for interpreting in a legal setting

3. Dynamics in Legal Interpreting – Team Interpreting and Roles of Interpreters
3.1. Understanding Interpreter roles and conflicts in legal settings
3.2. Team interpreting in legal settings
3.3. Similarities and differences between sign language and spoken language interpreting and how to work together in assigned cases

4. Foundational Legal Concepts and Legal Language
4.1. Rules of evidence and the meaning of the most common objections
4.2. Analyzing and learning the meaning behind language used in legal settings
4.3. How lawyers think and prepare for a case, including lines of questioning

5. Legal Procedure: Criminal and Civil
5.1. Defining criminal and civil cases
5.2. Knowing how a case proceeds from beginning to end
5.3. Where and how interpreters operate within these procedures

6. The Construct of Legal Environments
6.1. Defining the construct of many legal settings and proceedings
6.2. Documents used in legal setting and procedures
6.3. Where and how interpreters operate within these procedures

7. Capstone
7.1. Putting it all together
7.2. Simulation of various legal proceedings
7.3. Mock trial

Upcoming Sessions

To get started, review the prerequisites, fill out this application, email completed application to and enroll in the certificate.

Date: Aug 28, 2020-Aug 20, 2021

Delivery Method: Blended


Date: Online Aug 28, 2020-June 19, 2021; In-person July 19-23 & Aug 16-20, 2021 (Detailed Schedule in Notes)

Time: Live online Fri 12pm-4pm, Sat 9am-4pm CST; In-person Mon-Fri 8-5pm. (Detailed Schedule in Notes)

Location: UWM School of Continuing Education

Course-Paced Online

Available: Aug 28, 2020-Aug 20, 2021

Platform: Canvas

Instructor: Debra Gorra Barash

Fee: $6,995 Inaugural year pricing expires 8/28/2020. Payment plans available by request, contact

CEHs: 280, CEUs: 28

Enrollment Limit: 24

Program Number: 7781-13236

Note: 2020-2021 Detailed Schedule


Registration Deadline: Aug 28

Registration deadline has passed.

Still Have Questions? Contact Us.

Samantha Meyer, Associate Outreach Specialist

| 414-227-3118

Industry Partner

State of Wisconsin Court System