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Loyola professor sworn in as one of first certified court interpreters in Louisiana

Loyola press release - July 10, 2015

Two years ago, Lisbeth Philip, Ph.D., helped launch Loyola University New Orleans’ Spanish/English Translation and Interpreting Certificate Program, the first in the Gulf Coast region. On June 25, Philip made history again, becoming one of the first five Certified Court Interpreters for the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Philip, who is academic director of Loyola’s Translation and Interpreting Program, was sworn in by The Hon. Jeannette Theriot Knoll ’66, J.D. ‘69, associate justice on the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Philip, who is also a certified healthcare interpreter, has for many years championed the importance of interpreting in the legal system and its lack of recognition. In 2012, the Louisiana Supreme Court joined the National Center for State Courts to train and certify bilinguals to achieve the highest level of interpreting in the judicial system. The Louisiana Court Interpreter Training Program is a two-day interactive workshop demonstrating the role of interpreters in various legal and court proceedings and includes two written exams.

“I was honored to be one of the first five certified interpreters to be sworn in by Louisiana Supreme Court. My role as a certified judicial interpreter and as the academic director of Loyola's Translation and Interpreting Program is to continue raising the standards by making sure that people receive a fair and equal treatment in the state courts despite their limited linguistic levels of proficiency in English,” Philip said.

Loyola’s Certificate in Translation & Interpreting is a non-credit certificate program offered jointly by the Office of Professional & Continuing Studies and the Department of Languages & Cultures. It is designed for fully bilingual students who are interested in learning techniques and codes of practice in the fields of Spanish/English, English/Spanish translation and interpreting in legal and/or healthcare settings.

In 2014, a group of at least 17 student interpreters from Loyola’s program participated in a pro bono project led by the New Orleans-based immigration law firm, Ware | Gasparian and managing partner Kathleen Gasparian '95, J.D. '02. The project, called PB&J—Pro Bono and Juveniles, helped connect child migrants with not only the free legal and interpreters. Ten students in the program participated as interpreters for the Louisiana Mission of Mercy held in Baton earlier this year and Philip held a three-day workshop in January for the New Orleans Public School Board to train 30 elementary school teachers on the principles of community interpreting.

Visit here for more information on Loyola’s Translation and Interpreting Certificate Program. For details on how to become a certified court interpreter, visit http://www.lasc.org/court_interpreters/Interpreter_Training_Registration.pdf.