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Legal Interpreter

Salary: $16.60-$20.27 hourly / $2,888-$3,525 monthly / Range: 4966

DEFINITION: Under general direction, performs literal and general interpretation and translation from English to a specified foreign language and vice versa in a support capacity to attorneys, investigators, and other legal staff; performs miscellaneous clerical work; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is distinguished from the class of Court Interpreter by the fact that it does not require State certification and by the fact that incumbents do not interpret for court proceedings. It is further distinguished from the class of Court Interpreter Aide in that incumbents work under less supervision, do not interpret for court proceedings, and are not expected to obtain State certification as a Court Interpreter.


1. 1. Interprets simultaneously and consecutively during interviews and field investigations involving attorneys, investigators, clients, and witnesses; translates documents and legal forms for use by clients, witnesses, or other staff; translates and composes correspondence; assists other staff with interpretation and translation in daily public contact.
2. 2. May perform clerical and other duties in a back-up capacity, including: taking telephone calls from non-English speakers, processing routine legal forms, and serving subpoenas.


1. Completion of a minimum of 16 semester units or 24 quarter units in English and the specified foreign language; or,
2. equivalent combination of training, education, and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation of written English; grammar, usage, and vocabulary of spoken English; basic principles of the U.S. justice system; basic legal terminology.

Ability to: learn and use more complex legal terminology; learn and explain legal concepts and procedures to persons with limited knowledge of U.S. justice system; learn office practices; establish and maintain working relationships with attorneys, investigators, staff, clients, and witnesses; take direction from a variety of people; maintain confidentiality and objectivity; discuss graphic evidence and testimony related to crimes, including violent crimes such as murder, sexual assault, and child abuse.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT: Fluent knowledge of the grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation of the specified foreign language as it is written; fluent knowledge of the grammar, usage, and vocabulary of the specified foreign language as it is spoken.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Positions in this class require that incumbents be able to hear and distinguish words spoken in a foreign language, in any of a variety of regional accents. Incumbents must also possess the ability to speak.

DESIRABLE REQUIREMENT: Knowledge of cultural influences affecting the specified client population.

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