November 2012 Bar Bulletin
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November 2012 Bar Bulletin

Working with Limited-English Clients


It goes without saying that America becomes more multicultural with each passing year. It is simply not enough for a practicing attorney to merely "know the law." An effective family law practitioner must also have a working familiarity with various cultural differences and how those differences can impact family law litigation. Cultural competency is a very broad topic, therefore, this month's column is limited to practice tips for working with clients whose first or primary language is not English.1

For this month's column, the following experts (in alphabetical order) were interviewed:

  • Martha N. Cohen, Manager, Office of Interpreter Services for King County Superior Court;
  • Kristi Cruz, Attorney Northwest Justice Project, participant in the drafting of the ABA Interpreter Guidelines;
  • Gillian "Jill" Dutton, Associate Professor of Lawyering Skills, Director, Externship Program, Seattle University School of Law;
  • Hon. Eric Watness (Ret.), JAMS, The ResoluĀ­tion Experts; and
  • Carrie Williams, Attorney, Northwest JusĀ­tice Project, Family Law Project.

Volume and Overall Need for Cultural Competency and Language Access

Q: How many languages does King County provide interpreter services for?

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