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In-person and Online

ABA Conference on Language, Justice, and Technology

March 1 - 2, 2024, Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA


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This conference is sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense and Seattle University School of Law, and cosponsored by Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts, the ABA Center for Public Interest Law, ABA Commission on Disability Rights, ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, and ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice.

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming ABA Conference on Language, Justice, and Technology, a pivotal event at the intersection of language access, cross-cultural communication, technology, and access to justice, which will be held on March 1 - 2, 2024, at Seattle University School of Law in Seattle, Washington. A virtual option is available for those unable to attend in person.

Sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA), and co-sponsored by Seattle University School of Law and its Technology, Innovation Law, and Ethics (TILE) Program, the conference is a significant initiative in line with the ABA's ongoing process of revising the 2012 Standards for Language Access in Courts. As part of this revision process, the conference will offer an overview of crucial updates that will impact courts and court users. Your participation in this event provides a unique opportunity to contribute your insights and shape the future landscape of language services in legal settings.

Key Conference Highlights

  • Language Justice Principles: Delve into the concept of Language Justice, where affected communities take the lead in designing services that surpass minimum standards. Explore how these principles contribute to a holistic language services model.
  • Panel Discussions: Engage in thought-provoking discussions on the role of Language Justice, cross-cultural communication, and technology in achieving access to justice. Together, we will explore the benefits and considerations necessary for the use of machine interpretation, machine translation, and plain language models.
  • Input Opportunities: Seize the chance to actively participate in shaping the ABA's Standards for Language Access in Courts. Provide your input on the revisions and be part of the collaborative effort to enhance language access in the legal system, including incorporating language and communication access for individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deafblind.

Join us for two days of insights, collaboration, and meaningful discussions as we navigate the evolving landscape of language justice and plain language. Gain diverse perspectives from technology creators, advocates for appropriate use, and those potentially left out.

Registration Information

In Person Attendance:

The conference registration fee is $125, which includes 4.0 hours of MCLE credit for attorneys and 4.0 hours of CE credit for interpreters. The fee also includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Law students may register at no cost. Limited scholarships are available to those who qualify based on financial hardship. Requests for scholarships must be received no later than February 23, 2024. To request a scholarship, contact [email protected].

Online Attendance:

The conference webcast may be attended at no cost. No CLE/CE credit is provided for the webcast. The programs will be recorded, and registered attendees will be provided links to the recordings after the conference ends.

CLICK HERE to register for either the in-person or virtual attendance option.

We welcome people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact [email protected]. Requests should be made by February 23, 2024.

Conference Agenda

(all times are Pacific Standard Time)

Friday, March 1, 2024 

2:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Sullivan Room 109

2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Community Voices: From Language Access to Language Justice
Sullivan Room 109

Language Justice is a concept that means affected communities design the services needed to go beyond minimum standards or thresholds to reach a holistic language services model. This session will include a panel of community members to share their experiences navigating the justice system; models for reducing language barriers; and advocacy efforts to move our courts towards language justice.

  • Gillian Dutton, Associate Professor and Externship Director, Seattle University School of Law
  • Joann Lee, Special Counsel, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Andrea Salazar, Founder & CEO, We Amplify It
  • Chi-Ser Tran, Supervising Attorney, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Keynote Address
Sullivan Room 109

  • Rachel Rossi, Director, Office for Access to Justice, U.S. Department of Justice

Saturday, March 2, 2024

8:30 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
Innovation at the Intersection of Language Justice and Technology
Sullivan Room 109

This panel will discuss the benefits and risks of machine interpretation, machine translation, and plain language models, from several perspectives: those creating technology, those working to ensure its appropriate use, and those it leaves out.

  • LeighAnne Thompson, Associate Director, TILE, Seattle University School of Law
  • Lucas Nunes Vieira, Professor of Translation Studies, University of Bristol, UK
  • Claudio Fantinuoli, Research Associate, Mainz University/KUDO Inc., Germany
  • Eliana Lobo, Safe AI for the Ethical Use of AI in Interpreting and Translating

9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Emerging Issues for Translators and Interpreters
Sullivan Room 109

Interpreters and translators are a critical part of the work towards language justice. During this session, panelists will share viewpoints on the language access and language justice approaches with attention to issues of cross-cultural communication, training and certification, and ethics considerations.

  • Kristi Cruz, Attorney, Northwest Justice Project
  • Andreea Boscor, Certified Spoken Language Interpreter
  • Carla Mathers, J.D., SC:L ASL Interpreter
  • Alena Uliasz, Language Justice Manager, California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA)

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
New Trends in Courts: Language Justice, Plain Language, and Technology
Sullivan Room 109

This panel will discuss challenges courts are facing in providing people-centered justice across language and culture and will suggest ways in which courts, working with the communities they serve, can create change.

  • Michael Blasie, Assistant Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law
  • Deenie Miller, Director of Language Access, Mississippi Supreme Court
  • Sonya Rao, Postdoctoral Scholar, Language Access, American Bar Foundation