Language of Human Rights: Volunteer Interpreter Project

Each year, the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) provides legal counsel and representation to thousands of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in the Chicago area.  NIJC partners with pro bono attorneys from Chicago’s most respected law firms to secure legal protections for these individuals.  Pro bono attorneys frequently need volunteer interpreters to help them communicate with their clients – many who have experienced violence and persecution – as they prepare applications for immigration legal protections. 

Volunteer Qualifications:

  • Bilingual (oral and written fluency in another language)
  • Commit to at least 3 months of service
  • Reside in the Chicagoland area
  • Flexibility, patience, and the ability to work in a multicultural environment
  • Prior experience working with immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and/or victims of crime is helpful, but not required

Corps Member Responsibilities:

  • Attend one training at NIJC’s office
  • Serve as an on-call translator for pro bono cases in Chicago – Pro bono attorneys will contact you directly, at their discretion, based on language abilities and availability listed in your volunteer profile
  • Fully interpret in-person and telephonic interviews
  • Translate affidavits and other written documents
  • Maintain a professional demeanor when working with clients who have experienced trauma


NIJC’s Language of Human Rights: Volunteer Interpreter Project gives volunteers the opportunity to exercise their language skills while serving a client and learning about the complexities of immigration law.  Volunteers will work directly with attorneys from the nation’s leading law firms to secure legal protections for vulnerable populations.


Please contact Michelle Bezner at if you are interested in participating as a volunteer interpreter.