Virginia's Judicial System


Program Information and Registration

Program Information
Orientation:

Orientation training consists of three mandatory pre-orientation webinar classes and a 2-day webinar orientation course that will familiarize students with the Virginia Judicial System, courtroom protocol, the role of the interpreter, specific skills needed for the different modes of interpreting, and the "do's and don'ts" of the job. Each webinar will be a 1-hour long session, offered live and prerecorded. Candidates will receive instructions to log-in to the webinars, and all candidates will be required to participate in all three webinars prior to the orientation class. Each candidate will also receive an electronic binder with information on how to access court-related glossaries and documents that will give an understanding of the court system and legal procedures. The training also includes an overview of self-study techniques, practice sessions, available resources, and tips for preparing for the oral certification examination. The 2-day orientation class, which follows the three mandatory webinars and is open to all languages, is not intended to prepare you for the written exam. Likewise, the materials provided at the orientation class are a source of general information for court interpreters, and not test prep. Success on the written and oral exams will depend on extensive independent preparation in addition to a solid linguistic foundation. Moreover, while successful court interpreters are often in part self-taught, many have also benefitted from formal instruction.

Written Exam: It is an intermediate level exam and requires extensive self-preparation. It is given only to candidates seeking certification in the following languages: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The written exam may be taken only one time within a 12-month period. The Written Exam is administered in Hanover, VA.

Oral Exam: It is open to those currently enrolled for certification in Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese who have successfully completed the Orientation and Written Exam within the past 3-years. The oral exam may be taken only one time within a 12-month period.

Registration
The certification process begins by registering for the Orientation and Written Exam. Only candidates who have participated in the Orientation and passed the Written Exam, both within the past 3-years, are eligible to register for the Oral Exam.

Spring Registration:

  • Orientation and Written Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website in mid-February. (class/exam is generally given in March or April)
  • Oral Exam: Registration dates/locations are generally posted on this website during the month of May or June (exam is generally given in June or July)

Fall Registration:

  • Orientation and Written Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website in mid-August (class/exam is generally given in September or October).
  • Oral Exam: Registration dates/location are generally posted on this website during the months of December or January (exam is generally given in January or February)

Note: All dates are tentative and may be subject to change without prior notice. Registration will close when classes are full and/or when class lists are finalized. This can be several weeks before the start of the in-person orientation.

To Register:

Registration for Spring 2021 Orientation isclosed.  Please visit this page in mid-August for Fall 2021 orientation registration information. 

Notes about pre-registration, space, and payment:
Space is limited.  Pre-registration will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.  If space is available when you submit your registration form, you should receive a confirmation email of pre-registration within the following 3-4 business days.
The confirmation email will include payment instructions.  Please do not send any payment until you receive a confirmation email of pre-registration.  All payments will be due 14-days before orientation/exam. If we do not receive your payment in a timely manner and as specified in the payment instructions, your pre-registration may be cancelled.  Pre-registration does not guarantee you a spot in our orientation class.  Only candidates who have completed their payment are considered registered candidates and may participate in the orientation and written exam. 

Required Pre-Orientation Webinars:
The webinar sessions will be offered live on the following dates and times:

  • 3/2/2021 at 11:30 AM
  • 3/9/2021 at 11:30 AM
  • 3/23/2021 at 11:30 AM

Registered candidates are expected to participate in the live webinar sessions; if registered candidates are unable to view the sessions live, they will be permitted to view the prerecorded sessions prior to the orientation course.  A live viewing will allow participants to ask and receive answers to course-related questions during the webinars. Participation in the 3 webinar sessions is mandatory to complete the orientation class.  All pre-registered candidates are welcome to participate in the first webinar even if payment has not yet been received.  

Orientation: All Languages $225.00
Written Exam: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese $125.00
Oral Exam: Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese $225.00

This is the tentative schedule (subject to change) for delayed testing events. The goal is to administer Fall 2020 oral exams in summer 2021. Those candidates should check back in mid-June 2021. Written and oral exams for Spring 2021 orientation attendees cannot be scheduled until after that time. Candidates from the spring 2021 cycle should check back in mid-August 2021 after completing the orientation.

Note: Fees are subject to change without notice. There are NO refunds given to those who register and do not attend the class or exam. The Supreme Court of Virginia will NOT reimburse your travel, parking, meal or lodging expenses.

Skills-Building Workshop
There are no workshops at this time.

For questions regarding certification, please email languages@vacourts.gov