Brookdale Community College helps launch courtroom interpreting careers

Brookdale Community College alumni Jorge Puerto has been on staff at Mercer County Superior Court for the past six years and has recently passed the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination. He is among many students receiving a Judicial and Medical Interpreting Certificate and building a career.

Monmouth County-based Brookdale is gaining quite a reputation around the municipal courts and even the superior courts for having good, trained students who are now full-time interpreters.

“This is a great accomplishment, and we are proud to say he started his journey at Brookdale,” Beatriz Craney, an instructor of interpreting courses at Brookdale and founder of Craney Interpreting Services, said. “Statistics show that only 10% of applicants pass these tests. His vicinage uses our former students to do Superior Court cases.”

The professional knowledge, skills and abilities required of a federal court interpreter are complex. In addition, communication in courtroom proceedings may be more complicated than in other settings or everyday life.

Using competent federal court interpreters in proceedings involving speakers of languages other than English is critical to ensure that justice is carried out fairly for defendants and other stakeholders.

Court interpreters work in various legal settings, such as attorney-client meetings, preliminary hearings, arraignments, depositions and trials. Medical interpreters help patients communicate with doctors, nurses and other medical staff.

Sonia Marcos wanted a career change after being an office manager for 15 years. After hearing excellent comments about the program and meeting the instructors, she knew she was in the right place. Additionally, New Jersey Superior and Municipal Courts judges constantly request Marcos.

Marcos said: “At Brookdale, I learned the Code of Ethics and was trained to go into the field as a professional interpreter. Obtaining my certification with Brookdale opened the door to many job opportunities.”