In this post, I hope to give you some examples of the legal translation and interpreting degrees available. Please do write in if you know of others that I haven’t included here.
Most are on-site courses, but a number involve distance learning to varying extents.
The information below has been taken from the relevant university websites and direct correspondence. If any details are incorrect, I would be happy to change them upon request from the institution concerned.
I have listed the courses in alphabetical order of their location.
Barcelona, Spain – Graduate Certificate in Legal Translation
The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona offers a legal translation programme which includes “learning about the two legal systems of the first and foreign language, and translation of different types of legal texts and in different areas of the law, professional situation, etc.”.
Genoa, Italy – Master’s in Legal Translation (distance learning)
The University of Genoa describes their Masters as a postgraduate course aiming to train translators specialized in legal language, who are looking to work in public bodies, international organizations, and the corporate sector. The Masters aims to meet the increasing demand for vocational training from the European market as regards legal translation and an ever-growing need for specific professional skills in a context of increasing globalization and technological transformations. In addition to Italian, 4 other languages are currently offered.
Hong Kong – Double degree LLB-BA (Translation)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong offers a double degree, LLB-BA (Translation). Jointly offered by the Department of Translation and the Faculty of Law, the LLB – BA(Translation) double degree “is a highly flexible option designed to prepare students to qualify as practising lawyers while leaving the door open to other career choices along the way”.
London, UK – MA in Legal Translation
This course at City University provides an overview of the legal systems and terminology in England and Wales as well as those of the country of your other language. It establishes a theoretical framework for legal translation and provides practice in translating key documents in a wide range of legal fields. This course is offered in a format combining intensive face-to-face teaching with distance learning. You will need to attend classes on four days (Wednesday to Saturday) four times a year: mid-September, mid-December, around Easter and mid-June. On the full-time course, you are required to attend all eight modules in one year.
Madrid, Spain – Master in Legal-Financial Translation
The Universidad Pontificia Comillas describes its course as follows: “Through a solid theoretical education in comparative law and finance, it is focused on an eminently practical and professional learning method of the legal and financial translation. The Master offers two specialisation fields: the English, and the English-French double specialisation. Both fields have a modular structure which is articulated in the subjects and courses described below. The course is completed with the professional practices in companies and organisations, as well as the course final assignment under tutorship.”
Moscow, Russia – Master in Legal Translation and Interpreting
The Master in Legal Translation and Interpreting (MLTI) at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia responds to the high demand for translators and interpreters in the field of Law. The academic track combines the theoretical and the applied foci. The professional specialization track provides training in the legal field of translation and interpretation. The research track trains students for access to the doctoral field of Comparative Linguistics and Specialized Translation Studies. The program develops students’ knowledge, skills and abilities to interpret and translate legal texts, working within the following language pair combinations: English-Russian, English-French, English-Spanish, English-German, English-Chinese. A second foreign language is subject to students’ choice.
Ottawa, Canada – Masters in Legal Translation
The objective of this professionally-oriented Masters program at the University of Ottawa is to train legal translators or revisers, primarily to meet the needs of Canada, where two legal systems (common law and civil law) operate. It is intended for law graduates who wish to specialize in legal translation and revision from English to French. Graduates of this program will be able to work as legal translators or revisers in government, industry or law firms.
Poitiers, France – Master Juriste-Linguiste
The aim of this Master’s course at the University of Poitiers is to train lawyer-linguists, hence the equal emphasis given to law and languages. The languages taught are English, Spanish and German, which give the best opportunities to find a job within the EU or internationally. By the end of the program, the lawyer-linguists will be trilingual (a requirement to take EU open competitions and to work for international organizations).
Poznań, Poland – Postgraduate degree in legal translation
Postgraduate studies for candidates wishing to become sworn court interpreters and legal translators. The studies are organized by the Institute of Linguistics at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Literature of Adam Mickiewicz University. It is a two year program. Poznań has held a legal translation and legilinguistics conference for many years – see my post about this year’s conference.
Riga, Latvia – MA in Legal Linguistics
The MA in Legal Linguistics at Riga Graduate School of Law aims to study “the law and the language, providing lawyers and linguists with relevant interdisciplinary knowledge in both areas. Creating, interpreting, translating and editing a legal text implies multiple sources of knowledge, in particular legal knowledge and linguistic knowledge. The interdisciplinary approach employed by the Legal Linguistics programme enables comparative legal and linguistics analysis in multilingual, national and international contexts.”
Rome, Italy – Master’s in Legal Interpreting and Translation
Luspio Libero Università in Rome offers a course which “aims to meet the growing demand for trained professionals by national and international institutions and companies” and includes the following: an Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law, Basics of Criminal Law and Procedure, Basics of Human Rights Law, Basics of International Contract Law and Litigation, Legal English, Legal Translation, Legal Interpreting, Ethics and Practice in Legal Interpreting and Translation.
I am currently waiting for a reply from the United Arab Emirates University about a proposed legal translation Masters there. As soon as I hear from them, I’ll add a note to this post.
You may also be interested in my post about lawyer-linguists here.
19 thoughts on “Compendium of legal translation degrees offered by universities”
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I have been informed of a new Master universitario di secondo livello in traduzione giuridica starting up in January 2013 at the University of Trieste in Italy. Registrations are already closed for the first year, but I will be publishing a post when they open for next year.
More information is available here: http://www.sslmit.units.it/images/page1/Brochure_masterLAW2.pdf
Thank you! This is very useful. Isn’t there one in Switzerland as well?
Thanks Melina! Do you remember the name of the university in Switzerland?
My daughter is in her final year of the BA at the FTI of the University of Geneva and this is the answer to your question: Université de Genève – Faculté de Traduction et d’Interprétation, the MA is divided into 4 sections, one of which is Legal Translation.
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Any university in the States? Thank you all for the help!
Is there any university that deals with legal translation in the States that you would recommend? Thank you all for the help!
Can any readers help? I only know of the Monterey Institute programs, none of which are specifically in legal translation.
The University of Chicago has a translation certificate program with a legal course that is offered…that’s all I know about at this point! https://grahamschool.uchicago.edu/content/program-structure-3
Thanks a lot Lisa!
New York University offers a M.S. in Translation which allows students to focus on either financial or legal translation. Language pairs include Spanish>English, French>English, and Chinese>English. The program website is http://www.scps.nyu.edu/academics/departments/foreign-languages/academic-offerings/ms-in-translation.html.
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Just to communicate the sad news that City is no longer offering its MA in legal translation: http://www.city.ac.uk/arts-social-sciences/culture-and-creative-industries/ma-legal-translation-no-longer-running
Thanks for noting this Brian. I have been waiting for some time to have a contribution from the former organizers of that course. No comment so far.
My reading of the matter is that the constituent members have been disbanded, so I doubt you’ll get an official response at this stage. But it’s far from the end of the story.
Let’s hope so!