Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus will host a complimentary half-day educational program for administrative law judges, hearing officers and court interpreters to bolster communication between members of the bench and the interpreters who work in their courtrooms.
“The Language of Justice” is being presented by the law school, its Legal Education Institute
and the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness. It is held in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
The day has been designed to help judges and hearing officers learn how to better work with courtroom interpreters and learn from reported cases where judges were challenged on language issues. Interpreters will learn about the work of administrative agencies, the language unique to each and problems that can arise, along with what judges want from interpreters.The Sept. 24 program begins with a welcome at 9 a.m.
and goes into a panel discussion. Participants will then break apart for sessions unique to their needs. For example, the session for judges and hearing officers will include an American Sign Language interpreter demonstration and a talk on challenges facing judges. The court interpreters, meanwhile, will undergo sessions that educate them about the nuts and bolts of civil service, unemployment and workers’ compensation hearings.
Participants will reunite for lunch to hear keynote speaker Pedro A. Cortes, secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Cortes is also a member of the Interbranch Commission on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness.
Widener began a Court Interpreter Program in September 2008 in response to a need for an academic resource dedicated to enhancing the skills tested in state-administered court interpreter exams. This event is an outgrowth of that initiative.
The program has been approved for three continuing legal education credits (no ethics) in Pennsylvania. To register, or for more information, contact Peggy O’Neill at 302.477.2007