Legal Language Services ranks Maine as a state with lightly regulated legal interpreting requirements.
Maine does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding, nor does the state offer certification in any language.
However, complainants, defendants and witnesses part of any court or grand jury proceedings who are deaf or who have a language barrier have the right to an interpreter pursuant to the Maine Human Rights Act. If legal interpreters are not available locally, judges may request the presence of a certified or otherwise qualified interpreter from outside the state if it is deemed necessary in court proceedings.
The Maine Judicial Branch is currently accepting applications for court interpreters in the following languages:
Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Maine interpreters for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.
Maine utilizes a three-tiered system when classifying court interpreters. The three qualification levels are defined as:
Tier 1: An interpreter who has submitted an approved Application for Maine Interpreting Work, completed the Maine Court Interpreters 2-Day Orientation Program, and passed the National Center for State Courts written examination with a score of 70 or higher, obtained a minimum of “Advanced-Low” rating on ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview.
Tier 2: An interpreter who has submitted an approved Application for Maine Interpreting Work, completed the the Advanced 4-Day Legal Interpreter Training Program, passed the National Center for State Courts written examination with a score of 80 or higher, obtained a minimum of “Advanced-Low” rating on ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview, and has at least 50 hours of documented legal interpreting experience and at least two years of post-secondary education.
Tier 3: An interpreter who has achieved Federal Court Certification or satisfactory completion of all three sections of the National Center for State Courts Oral Exam.
According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 7.09% of the Maine population speaks a language other than English.
What’s more, almost 86% of the non-English speaking population in Maine speaks one of the following 10 languages:
Other languages spoken in Maine include Tagalog, Mon-Khmer/Cambodian, Korean, Greek, Portuguese, Swedish, Japanese, Polish, Hindi, Dutch, Amharic, Bulgarian, Czech, Hebrew, Finnish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Fulani.
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 Maine is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.