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Video remote interpreting expands in the courts

By Brooke Bogue and Jacquie Ring

December 21, 2022

Providing effective and efficient language access services to limited English proficient (LEP) individuals has always been a top priority for state courts. Historically, this has been through the in-person provision of qualified court interpreters. However, the COVID-19 pandemic required this focus to broaden significantly. In the face of the public health crisis, courts across the nation had to quickly pivot to ensure continued access to justice. For many, this meant moving to virtual courtrooms where all or most of the participants in a proceeding could appear remotely. It also meant considering new and alternative ways to access and use interpreters in a virtual environment.

Almost three years after the widespread establishment of the virtual courtroom, we are now seeing a shift back to in-person court proceedings and operations once again. However, many courts are continuing to find innovative ways to support video remote interpretation (VRI) to provide interpreter services. Some examples include:

Many other states have also posted instructional videos and resources on how to successfully conduct proceedings using VRI.

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) continues to help to support the state courts with their VRI efforts. Its VRI Resource Center contains a collection of resources for VRI in the courts, including newly added training modules for court interpreters, judges, and court staff. This clearinghouse is updated regularly as new resources are made available and shared.

NCSC is also currently planning to host a series of national informational webinars and hands-on workshops specifically for court interpreters on using Zoom and WebEx for VRI. For more information on these trainings, please contact Brooke Bogue. Is your court expanding VRI? Let us know at or call 800-616-6164. Follow the National Center for State Courts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.