Non-English-Speakers and the courts

The Social Justice Lawyering Clinic has worked twice on the issue of non-English speakers and the courts. The first time they teamed up with Friends of Farmworkers, Community Legal Services, Community Justice Project, and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, to produce Barriers to Justice for Non-English Speakers in Pennsylvania Courts, which documents the difficulties that non-English-speakers face in Pennsylvania’s District Justice Courts. The second time they collaborated with the Farmworker Clinic at Villanova Law School to conduct court observation in several counties. They produced a follow-up report, Unfinished-Business, which detailed how access to justice dramatically differed for non-English speakers based on the county they live in despite statewide rules about language access obligations for the courts.