State Agencies and Language Services: A Conversation with Anisa Rahim and Al Moreno


August 6th, 2019

14 mins 15 secs

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About this Episode

In this episode, LSNJ attorney Anisa Rahim provides an overview of the laws governing language access in New Jersey, beginning with the 1974 federal Lau vs. Nichols case, in which the Supreme Court decided that failure to provide language assistance is a form of national origin discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act was strengthened in 2000 when President Clinton signed an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to give guidance on the required response of state agencies to comply with this mandate. The guidance issued by the Department of Justice provided a model for federal agencies and a detailed analysis of the ways in which interpretation and translation mush be offered, in order to ensure meaningful access to government services and benefits. New Jersey courts have increasingly recognized the importance of language services in state court decisions to comply with due process and civil rights protections. New Jersey’s Administrative Office of the Courts issued a comprehensive Language Access Plan in 2017. The plan outlines best practices for providing language assistance to both limited English proficiency (LEP) individuals and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Anisa is joined by Al Moreno, an approved court interpreter of the New Jersey Administrative office of the courts and Director of Language Services at LSNJ. In his remarks, Al emphasizes the importance of proper qualifications and training for language services professionals, offering several anecdotes to illustrate the potentially dire consequences of inaccurate interpretation or translation.

LSNJ publishes legal rights materials in a variety of languages and promotes them through a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and our website, This podcast is available in video format with English and Spanish subtitles (more languages to come) on LSNJLAW and on our YouTube channel,

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