In recent years, U.S. law schools have dramatically expanded their work on behalf of clients with limited English proficiency, working both internationally and with local immigrant and expatriate communities in their service areas. Like many legal service providers and court systems, law schools often have to seek out creative solutions when meeting the interpretation needs presented by cross-linguistic caseloads and projects. As they become more involved with limited English proficiency communities, law students, staff and faculties discover that their struggle to provide quality interpretation to their own clients is mirrored in the court and administrative tribunals where their clients’ rights are determined, calling for collaboration with public interest advocates and bar associations seeking greater language accessibility to justice.
Clinical legal scholars are increasingly focused on interpretation questions. At the 2006 AALS Clinical Section Workshop, a panel entitled “Collaborating on Language Access Issues,” will include speakers from the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, Washington College of Law of American University, Hamline University School of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law, Syracuse University College of Law, Villanova University Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, and Villanova University School of Law. The Association of American Law Schools Clinical Section also encouraged exploration of this topic by designating American University Washington College of Law’s Limited English Proficiency Project as a Bellow Scholar Project. The Bellow Scholar Program honors the work of Gary Bellow by calling attention to innovative anti-poverty or access to justice projects that encourage collaboration and empirical analysis.
The participants in the April 2006 workshop assembled the materials linked on these pages in order to facilitate access by clinical legal educators and to continue the dialogue beyond the workshop session. If you have questions about the website or materials that you would like to include on this site, please contact Beth Lyon at email@example.com.
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