Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Alabama

Regulations for legal interpreters in Alabama differ from those in other states. Legal Language Services ranks Alabama as a state with lightly regulated legal interpreting requirements.

In general, your legal interpreter must have the appropriate level of certification that meets your language needs. This is especially true if you require an interpreter who will be working in a courtroom. This does not mean, however, that you should hire a certified interpreter for every situation.

Whether or not an interpreter is certified — let alone the level of certification — will have an effect on how much you are charged for legal interpreting services. Due to the added cost of certified professionals, it may not be a sound strategy to use certified legal interpreters if certification is not legally required for your proceeding.

In fact, some situations may not benefit from certified interpreters. In particular, where subject matter expertise and/or special skills are required, certification may be a secondary consideration in securing a competent interpreter.

As previously noted, non-certified legal interpreters can provide professional interpreting services at a more affordable price. As in other states, a certified interpreter will command a higher fee for legal interpreting services. Prices will be affected based on the level of certification.

Legal Language can help you determine the best interpreter, certified or otherwise, for your legal interpreting needs in Alabama.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Alabama

Alabama does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding. However, Alabama’s Administrative Office of Courts periodically offers exams, both written and oral, for certification in Spanish and several other languages based on the guidelines of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification.

Classification of Interpreters in Alabama

The Alabama Administrative Office of Courts defines legal interpreters in the following ways:

  • Certified Master Level Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 80 percent on a four-part oral exam, scored a minimum of 80 percent on a written exam and completed an orientation seminar.
  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 70 percent on a four-part oral exam, scored a minimum of 80 percent on a written exam and completed an orientation seminar.
  • Journeyman Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 60 percent on a four-part oral exam, scored a minimum of 80 percent on a written exam and completed an orientation seminar.
  • Conditionally Approved Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 80 percent on a written exam and completed an orientation seminar.
  • Registered Interpreter: An interpreter who has successfully registered with the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts and is determined to be qualified to serve as an interpreter.

Judicial Districts in Alabama

There are 40 judicial districts in Alabama that encompass 67 counties. However, certification requirements in Alabama are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Alabama interpreters who meet state interpreting rules for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.

Please Note

The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information about legal interpreting guidelines in Alabama is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.