For interpreters

Courtroom-to-Classroom court observation

Interpreters who are going through the certification program are required to observe courtroom proceedings. This requirement can be accomplished through the CIP's Courtroom-to-Classroom initiative which allows the interpreter candidate to spend some time with the presiding judge after the proceedings to go over key legal concepts, terminology, procedure, and to ask specific questions about the hearing you just observed.

How it works
Identify a courtroom that is convenient for you. See the list below of available courts around the state, as well as the map. Call the phone number and let the judge or judicial clerk/assistant know you are calling to participate court observation through the Courtroom-to-Classroom project and are interested in setting up a time to observe several short proceedings or one longer hearing (over an hour). The hearing does not need to be an interpreted hearing and in fact, it would better for you to begin observing hearings where all the litigants speak English. After the hearing, you will have the opportunity to sit down with the judge one-on-one and go over what you saw and heard. It is your opportunity to ask questions and to clarify any concepts or procedures that were confusing to you and a way to make you more familiar with court environment and protocol before you are actually asked to interpret. There is no limit on the number of times an interpreter candidate can participate in this project, however, to meet the requirement for obtaining certification, interpreters candidates must observe at least two hours in total.

It is preferable for you to call at least two weeks in advance to set up a time to attend court. Please remember that courts are generally formal places, so kindly make sure your attire is appropriate. Once you have completed observation, you must record the details and have the judge sign off on it using form CS-254 Report of observation of court proceedings Adobe PDF. If you have any problems scheduling a time, contact the CIP for assistance.

Courtroom-to-Classroom judges (see map PDF)

Branch Judge County Contact number
33 Ashley, Carl Milwaukee (414) 278-5316
3 Cray, Steven Chippewa (715) 738-7300
1 Daley, James Rock (608) 743-2261
  Damon, John Trempealeau (715) 538-2311 ext. 239
1 English, Dale Fond du Lac (920) 929-3072
3 Key, Barbara Winnebago (920) 236-4835
5 Moran, Mike Marathon (715) 261-1381
3 Needham, Scott St. Croix (715) 386-4611
9 Niess, Richard Dane (608) 266-4009
3 Ramirez, Ralph Waukesha (262) 548-7543
25 Rothstein, Stephanie Milwaukee (414) 278-4955
9 Van Grunsven, Paul Milwaukee (414) 278-4517
2 Vlack, Edward St. Croix (715) 386-4612
1 Zuidmulder, Donald Brown (920) 448-4110

Back to resources