The UT School of Law has one of the largest and most vibrant clinical programs in the country, with over 15 legal clinics operating each year. Law students in clinics work with faculty to represent clients with real-world legal problems. Increasingly, the clinics serve communities that include large numbers of people who do not speak English as their native language. This is true in the Immigration and Transnational Workers Rights clinics but is also true in other clinics, such as the Community Development and Domestic Violence clinics. Clients, witnesses, community organizations and small businesses sometimes need to communicate with the clinics in languages other than English in order to obtain the legal services they need. Periodically, individual clinics need interpreters and translators, with skills in a variety of languages. We often rely on volunteer interpreters and translators to help us provide the legal representation our clients deserve. Please join us in this important effort!
The Work of Volunteer Interpreters and Translators
Volunteer interpreters often interpret for client interviews conducted by law students. Students interview their clients many times over a semester, and interpreters ensure that communication is fluid in those interviews. Interpreters also assist in conducting intakes of potential new clients, and occasionally work with students to call witnesses or other contacts in a client’s home country.
Volunteer translators translate documents into English that may be submitted to a court or relevant agency or used in a transaction. Some of these documents are records from the client's home country; others are statements from witnesses in the client’s language. Translators may also translate formal affidavits from English into the client’s language to ensure that the client understands these before signing them.
How to Volunteer
If you are interested in serving as an interpreter and/or translator for the clinical program, please fill out the Volunteer Interpreter/Translator Questionnaire and send it to Elena Yujuico (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax it to (512-232-0705).
Your name and contact information will be included in a registry of interpreters and translators. Clinical faculty, staff and students will contact you when they need interpretation/translation assistance. If your schedule does not permit you to respond favorably to a request for assistance, simply notify the person contacting you. We will keep you on our list and let you know when another volunteer opportunity becomes available. You may remove yourself from the registry at any point by letting us know that you are no longer available to volunteer.
This Interpreter/Translator Project is a project of the UT Law Pro Bono Program, administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.