Imagine going to court or visiting your attorney's office. Nerve-wracking enough, right? Now imagine going to court or visiting your attorney's office as a person with limited English proficiency. Interactions with the legal system such as these may be some of the most important an LEP person may encounter, but a language gap could keep the individual from participating fully in his or her own interest.

Most court systems receive direct or indirect financial assistance from the Department of Justice or another federal agency. As a result, they must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prevents discrimination on the basis of national origin.

The Department of Justice issued guidance in 2002 on the requirement to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to LEP individuals. The DOJ notes: "At a minimum, every effort should be taken to ensure competent interpretation for LEP individuals during all hearings, trials and motions during which the LEP individual must and/or may be present." [Learn more in our Knowledge Center.]

In addition to interpretation services, translation of documents, contracts and other relevant items is critical to legal proceedings involving an LEP individual.

But with 21% of the U.S. population speaking a language other than English in the home, the need for multilingual communication in court systems often overwhelms court resources.

Volatia Language Network can assist you in meeting the legal needs of LEP individuals by:

  • Providing on-site, video remote or telephone interpretation services for hearings, trials, depositions, meetings and any other activities in more than 280 languages, including American Sign Language.
  • Translating and localizing legal documents, including affidavits, subpoenas and contracts.
  • Observing the utmost discretion and adherence to laws surrounding privileged information.
  • Evaluating your current procedures and assisting you in becoming compliant with state and federal law.