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Best Practices for Working with a Remote Legal Interpreter

legal interpreter

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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 80% of interpreting assignments were performed onsite. The rest were conducted either over the phone (OPI) or via video remote. But that number flipped within weeks as industries scrambled to adapt to the “new normal.” While telemedicine made it easier for healthcare providers to make the switch, the legal system struggled to adapt.

Fast forward a year, and certain types of virtual legal proceedings are becoming the norm—and so is remote legal interpreting. Here’s how you can ensure that transition is as smooth as possible.

Choosing a Remote Legal Interpreter  

Remote interpreting options mean that the talent pool is bigger than ever. You no longer need to hire an interpreter who can travel within a limited radius. But that also makes it harder to decide who’s the best fit for an assignment. Before you hire someone, consider:

  • State Certification – In some scenarios, you many need an interpreter who is certified in your state. Even if certification isn’t required, you should still work with an in-state interpreter, as they’ll have training in state-specific laws.
  • Legal Specialization – Some legal interpreters have undergone training in a specific area of law such as immigration. If you need someone with a particular background, ask about their experience in the field as well as any references.
  • Remote Interpreting Experience – Not all interpreters have experience working remotely. Before you hire someone, ask about the remote training they’ve had and whether they’re comfortable working in a virtual format.

Now that you know a little more about how to choose a remote interpreter, let’s move on to how to prepare them for an assignment.

Preparing a Remote Legal Interpreter  

Although remoting interpreting makes it possible to connect someone on-demand, that doesn’t mean you should forgo scheduling a session. That’s because the interpreter still needs time to familiarize themselves with the case, review terminology, and gain an understanding of the session’s goals.

If you normally have rehearsals with an onsite interpreter, schedule those remotely as well. For example, say you’re a lawyer who has a client with limited English proficiency. You could schedule a remote rehearsal session with the client and the legal interpreter to help ensure both parties know what to expect.

Preparing for a Remote Legal Interpreting Session

Last, but certainly not least, you need to prepare for the session itself. Remote interpreting poses some unique challenges that can impact the outcome. You’ll need to address these to prevent interruptions. Before you start:

  • Check your internet connect to ensure there are no lags.
  • Test your camera and microphone, if it’s a video remote session.
  • Minimize noise and distractions.

Following these tips will help you recreate a professional setting within the virtual space.

How Boostlingo Can Help    

With Boostlingo’s interpreting platform, it’s easier than ever to find a legal interpreter, schedule a session, and conduct one over the phone or remote video. All you need is an internet connection and a computer or tablet with a web cam to get started. Plus, you’ll gain access to the Boostlingo Hub of interpreters who speak over 300 languages.

Think Boostlingo may be right for you? Start your free trial today!

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