First-time posters: please review the site's moderation policy

Speaking to a lawyer the other day, I asked whether their firm uses interpreters. The answer, in short, was no. Instead, they have 'in-house bilingual lawyers', hired specifically for their ability to use another language and 'lawyer skills'.

What is the interpreters specific value proposition in this case?

asked 02 Jun '16, 08:53

Grezm's gravatar image


To be honest, if the in-house lawyers do a satisfactory job (and have been hired specifically for their linguistic skills), I don't see why the firm should replace them with interpreters. It really depends on what the firm's needs are and, in that case, if the "lawyer skills" are more important to them than the linguistic skills, so be it. However professional interpreters can be valuable in situations where the firm needs a neutral intermediate, one that will not add his personal knowledge and opinion to the conversation, as it is often the case with non-professionals. This might be usefull in case of internal conflicts or sensitive negociations, where good communication matters more than expert knowledge.

permanent link

answered 02 Jun '16, 10:16

Camille%20Collard's gravatar image

Camille Collard

edited 02 Jun '16, 10:17

...the "interpreters' value proposition" will depend on what the so-called bi-lingual lawyers actually do, vis-à-vis what they "should" be doing. Unless such lawyers actually have dual professional qualifications (which is possible and not that uncommon)they will be professional lawyers and amateur linguists; should that be what their employer wants, that will be that. Should the profile sought be one of a professional (conference) interpreter with legal expertise/qualifications (also not uncommon) ie an expert in transposing, between languages/cultures, (conference) messages whose content will not throw him/her due to his/her legal qualification, what they have now is not what they need, and the value proposition should focus on providing them what they need at the best cost/benefit ratio possible.

permanent link

answered 03 Jun '16, 05:39

msr's gravatar image


Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 02 Jun '16, 08:53

question was seen: 3,106 times

last updated: 03 Jun '16, 05:39 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

about | faq | terms of use | privacy policy | content policy | disclaimer | contact us

This collaborative website is sponsored and hosted by AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters.