Legal Workshops for ASL Interpreters

Taught by Xenia F. Woods, M.A., CI, CT, SC:L, Ed:K-12, NIC Master

These workshops are adjustable in length based on the amount of time desired for hands-on practice and the event schedule. Fees are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Xenia Woods holds a Master’s degree in Adult Education, the Certificate of Interpretation and the Certificate of Transliteration from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, as well as the Specialist Certificate: Legal (SC:L), NIC Master certificate, and Ed:K-12. Interpreting primarily in conference and legal settings, she is also the owner and director of TerpSavvy Online Interpreter Career Development.


Breaking into Legal Interpreting (intermediate/advanced)

Though more legal interpreters are desperately needed all around the U.S., there are limited opportunities for interpreter education to learn about what it takes to become legally certified. This workshop is designed to introduce basic concepts of legal interpreting, outline a “roadmap” to becoming legally certified, and also to provide some practice interpreting common legal texts. After participating in this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the path to legal certification and determine their eligibility or how they will become eligible to take the SC:L exams
  • Explain basic concepts of legal interpreting including the role of the interpreter in law enforcement settings and judicial settings
  • Identify a number of sign choices or sign sequences for equivalency to common legal concepts
  • Identify at least five resources for learning more about legal interpreting

What Every Interpreter Should Know about Legal Settings (all levels)

You never know when you’re going to find yourself in a legal situation. This workshop will give you some clear guidelines on what to do if you’re “in over your head,” and will provide you with a number of resources and opportunities to develop your knowledge of legal interpreting, whether you plan to get the SC:L or not. After participating in this workshop, interpreters will be able to:

  • Identify “red flags” for legal situations
  • Distinguish between non-legal, quasi-legal, and legal situations
  • Determine their readiness for quasi-legal interpreting
  • Have a toolbox for unexpected legal situations
  • Explain how they might extricate themselves from legal situations

A Court Communication Primer: Strategies & Etiquette for the Proceedings Interpreter

Many interpreters who are new to working in court wonder about the proper ways to say what they need, ask for clarification, inform the court of important information, and generally negotiate their role and participation in court proceedings. Being overwhelmed by terminology and feeling like an outsider does not allow an interpreter to fully be of service to the administration of justice. This workshop is designed to assist you in bridging the communication gap between interpreters and court personnel. Bring your questions, and be prepared for presentation, discussion, and practice. After participating in this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • List three useful phrases to use in open court
  • List three useful phrases to use in bench or chambers conferences
  • “Translate” five common legal phrases into plain English and into ASL
  • Give three examples of things interpreters should not say in court
  • Explain four common interpreting issues in terms that are understandable to legal staff
  • Demonstrate how to introduce oneself to an attorney and a deaf consumer in particular court settings