Superior Court Seeking College Students Interested in Language Intern Program

by Vincent Funari

PHOENIX (March 30, 2022) – College students interested in jumpstarting their career as an interpreter or translator will want to take part in the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County’s Language Intern program.

The program includes two sessions at the Downtown Phoenix Superior Court Complex: May 30 through June 30 and July 3 through August 4. Programs run Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students will earn $16 per hour while learning the skills necessary to help on their career journey to become court interpreters or translators. Also, students will have the opportunity to acquire skills to help them pursue other language-related professions.

Interpreters are those who convert information from one spoken language into another while translators are individuals who change written material from one language to a different language.

“The court interpreter internship program is looking for motivated individuals interested in developing their interpreting skills to the highest standards by pursuing a long and successful career as a court interpreter,” Court Interpretation and Translation Services Administrator Christopher Bleuenstein said. “A number of staff interpreters have reached or are considering retirement. It is crucial to provide opportunities for well-seasoned staff to share skills and knowledge with aspiring new language professionals as soon as possible.”

As an intern, students get the chance to shadow and learn from Arizona credentialed and certified interpreters. They have an opportunity to help interpreters prepare for court, observe court hearings, conduct research, and work on glossaries and other written materials. The program also features visits to local museums, detention centers, government agencies and historical sites to examine language access-related issues.

“With recent state certification requirements, finding qualified candidates for court interpreter positions has been a challenge. Becoming an interpreter requires a significant amount of training to perform at the levels established by the court. Offering hands-on training in the court’s own jurisdiction, in the formative years of a future interpreter, significantly reduces the training period once they are hired as employees,” Bleuenstein said.

By participating in the Court Interpretation and Translations Services program, past interns have increased their chances of passing the state’s Court Interpreter Certification exam. About 50% of former CITS interns have successfully passed state or federal interpreter certification exams and currently hold a certified interpreter position in Arizona or other states. This rate is 34% higher than certification candidates who did not participate in the internship program.

CITS former interns have landed interpreter and translator positions within the Judicial Branch in Maricopa, Pima and Santa Cruz counties. Others have been hired by international humanitarian organizations and government agencies.

“The field of interpretation and translation is growing. Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 24% by 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations,” Bleuenstein said.

As a CITS intern, students will be supporting the fourth largest general jurisdiction court in the United States and gain first-hand insight into a language access model serving more than 170 judicial officers and more than four million residents. The court offers assistance in more than 110 languages with Spanish as the most predominant. CITS office employs 21 Spanish interpreters and three Spanish translators. The office also oversees the practice of lesser used languages through a state and county contract system.

The court is seeking students who have graduated in the past 12 months or are enrolled in the last year of a graduate or undergraduate translation/interpretation program. Also, the court will accept students who completed a Court Interpreter Professional Development program and have initiated the Arizona certification program for a Tier 1 or 2 credential. To apply to become a Language Intern, please apply by April 15 at

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The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County is comprised of Superior Court, Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation, which includes juvenile detention. The Judicial Branch in Maricopa County is the fourth largest trial court system in the nation and, along with its 3,200 employees, is dedicated to providing a safe, fair and impartial forum for resolving disputes, enhancing access to services, and providing innovative, evidence-based practices that improve the safety of the community and ensure the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch. For more information, visit

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