The Language Project engages multi-lingual Albany Law School students to provide free translation/interpretation services to local public interest firms and organizations.

The Language Project serves various ends. To law students, it provides an alternative means of professional development, while using their language skills. Students gain knowledge about judicial and administrative proceedings and develop legal skills in client counseling, advocacy and litigation through the second-hand experience of being a practicing attorney. Also, it allows students to incorporate community services and outreach as a part of their legal training in their early stage of professional development. To the local legal community, the Project provides quality interpretation/translation services with law students who have prior exposure to and knowledge in law.

The Language Project raises a social awareness within the local immigrant community. Members of the Albany community can enjoy the benefits of effective legal representation and the importance of diversity and individual uniqueness, regardless of their culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, language, national or ethnic origin.

This Program is organized by the Diversity Office, volunteers commit to at least one assignment per semester, providing free translation/interpretation services to clients in our Law Clinic & Justice Center and local public interest organizations such as:  Iraqi Refugee Project and Empire Justice Center and The Legal Project (CDWBA).

All volunteers are required to attend a 1-hour orientation on the basics of interpreting.   A certified translator from The Legal Aid Society of NENY will conduct the training on professionalism and an overview of ethics issues when translating; provide tips for working with attorneys/clients as an interpreter; offer a list of legal sources such as dictionaries/glossaries to better assist the attorney/client.   

We currently have over 90 students on-campus who self-identified as bi-lingual,  I welcome you to join us in assisting our local immigrant population as they seek out the assistance from local public interest attorneys.   Join us as a Project volunteer, email the Diversity Office at: diversity@albanylaw.edu or contact the office’s Director at: (518) 445-3284.