Working as a legal interpreter in the US
Thread poster: mcsuaare

mcsuaare
Spain
Feb 16, 2015

Dear colleagues,

Before I pose the question to you I'd like to give you a brief summary of my background.

I studied translation and interpreting for 5 years in Spain and received a Master's degree last year in Intercultural Communication, Public Service Interpreting and Translation. I have no experience working as an interpreter, but as far as I see it I have preparation from my career. That being said, I have a lot of experience with Translation.

This afternoon, I was contacted by a US interpreting agency requiring my services as an interpreter for EnglishSpanish in the legal field. One of the questions they asked me was about my rate. Honestly, I am quite doubtful about the rate I should charge.

I would be incredibly grateful if you could provide me some professional information and advice.


Carmen


 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 06:46
Romanian to English
+ ...
Dear Carmen, Feb 17, 2015

In order to get a helpful answer, you need to provide us more information. What kind of interpreting service is required (court, discovery, settlement, deposition, conference, consecutive, simultaneous etc.)
In order to interpret in local, state or federal courts you need to be registered as a court interpreter, and in your case, as a Spanish interpreter, you need to be certified.
I am not sure what is the going rate for Spanish, which is a little less than for other languages, but for my pair it is between $ 75- 100/hour, minimum 2 hours. If you get the assignment through an agency, it should be somewhere between $ 40 - 60/ hr (it is a pure guess).

Good luck,
Lee


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:46
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, I agree. Feb 18, 2015

Somewhere between $70-$150/hr, 2 or 3 hrs minimum. Through agencies, about $20 less per hour.

 

Heather Walker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:46
German to English
+ ...
My estimate Feb 18, 2015

I have a couple of friends who have done court interpreting in your language pair in the Midwest (US), and they got about $35-50 per hour. This was not through an agency.

I'm just telling you this for a point of reference because I'm guessing that you can expect to get paid less than this from an agency.

However, this was the Missouri state court. I would guess that Federal Courts pay more.


 

mcsuaare
Spain
TOPIC STARTER
legal interpring in the USA Feb 18, 2015

Thank you all so much for your help!

I do not know that much about the context, but I can tell you it could be possible in the following areas:
Depositions/ EBTs
Legal consultations
Hearings and Trials
Mediations
Arbitrations
Sworn statements
Examinations under oath
Independent medical examinations (IMEs)
Medical Appointments
Educational events
Public meetings
Conferences
Social events
Prison visits
Driver’s permit exam for MVC


 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 06:46
Romanian to English
+ ...
again, too broad! Feb 20, 2015

Each area of interpreting you mentioned in your list has a specific requirement.

If you are going to be an interpreter in the USA, there are certain procedures:

For deposition, EBT, hearings and trials, arbitration and for everything else that is considered legal procedure, the interpreter must be a certified or registered court interpreter (a process that takes about 2 years);

For driving license exams, depending on the state where you reside, you may need to be on the list of approved interpreters for the DMV

Medical examination and medical appointments , OK, although some hospitals require the ”Bridging The Gap” course (40 hrs).

Prison visits - most federal prisons require a referral to place your name on the list of interpreters(valid for 1 year); local or state detention centers do not have such requirements;

Educational events
Public meetings
Conferences
Social events, you can get the job from direct client, no other requirements.

good luck,
lee

[Edited at 2015-02-20 00:33 GMT]


 


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