Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Kansas

Regulations for legal interpreters in Kansas differ from those in other states.

Legal Language Services ranks Kansas as a state with lightly regulated legal interpreting requirements.

Your legal interpreter must have the appropriate level of certification that meets your language needs. This is especially true if you require a court interpreter.

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. Please be aware that some counties in Kansas may have specific legal interpreting regulations in addition to the statewide requirements.

Do You Need a Certified Interpreter?

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 Kansas.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Kansas

Kansas does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding, nor does the state offer certification in any language.

Common Languages Spoken in Kansas

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 10.52% of the Kansas population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, almost 87% of the non-English speaking population in Kansas speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Common Languages Spoken in Kansas

  • Spanish
  • German
  • Vietnamese
  • Chinese*
  • French
  • Laotian
  • Tagalog
  • Korean
  • Arabic
  • Swahili
Kansas government building

Other languages spoken in Kansas include Hindi, Telugu, Russian, Japanese, Hmong, Bengali, Mandarin, Italian, Amharic, Persian, Kru/Ibo/Yoruba, Tamil, Portuguese, Urdu, Thai, Panjabi, Malayalam, Gujarathi and Cushite.

*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”

Classification of Interpreters in Kansas

The Kansas Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following two ways:

  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has met the requirements of a professional organization or government entity through rigorous testing based on appropriate and consistent criteria.
  • Qualified Interpreter: An interpreter who has been assessed for professional skills, demonstrates a high level of proficiency in at least two languages and has the appropriate training and experience to interpret with skill and accuracy while adhering to a code of professional ethics.

Judicial Districts in Kansas

Legal interpreting requirements can vary by district in Kanses. This state has 31 judicial districts that encompass 105 counties:

  • 1st Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Atchinson, Leavenworth
  • 2nd Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Jackson, Jefferson, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee
  • 3rd Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Shawnee
  • 4th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, Osage
  • 5th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Chase, Lyon
  • 6th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Bourbon, Linn, Miami
  • 7th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Douglas
  • 8th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Dickinson, Geary, Marion, Morris
  • 9th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Harvey, McPherson
  • 10th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Johnson
  • 11th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Cherokee, Crawford, Labette
  • 12th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Republic, Washington
  • 13th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Butler, Greenwood, Elk
  • 14th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Chautauqua, Montgomery
  • 15th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Cheyenne, Sherman, Wallace, Rawlins, Thomas, Logan, Sheridan
  • 16th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Gray, Meade, Ford, Clark, Kiowa, Comanche
  • 17th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Decatur, Norton, Graham, Phillips, Smith, Osborne
  • 18th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Sedgwick
  • 19th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Cowley
  • 20th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Russell, Barton, Stafford, Ellsworth, Rice
  • 21st Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Clay, Riley
  • 22nd Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Doniphan, Brown, Nemaha, Marshall
  • 23rd Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Gove, Trego, Ellis, Rooks
  • 24th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Lane, Ness, Hodgeman, Rush, Pawnee, Edwards
  • 25th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Finney, Greely, Hamilton, Kearny, Scott, Wichita
  • 26th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Stanton, Grant, Haskell, Morton, Stevens, Seward
  • 27th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Reno
  • 28th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Ottawa, Saline
  • 29th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Wyandotte
  • 30th Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties: Barber, Harper, Kingman, Pratt, Sumner
  • 31st Judicial District of Kansas
    Counties; Allen, Neosho, Wilson, Woodson

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Kansas 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 Kansas is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.

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