Learning a language is about more than literacy—it’s also cultural, and students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have the opportunity to apply their linguistic and cultural competencies in a real-world setting.

The Community Interpreter Internship is a partnership between the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the eight clinics in Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law—particularly with the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES) and the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC). Undergraduate students with advanced proficiency in Spanish and an interest in helping the Hispanic community act as translators and interpreters between clients and their student lawyers.

The program is very much at the core of what Villanova University is all about: learning while also giving of yourselves to others. Many students have participated in the Internship Program during these past years and have found the experience very worthwhile and stimulating.

The internship coincides with a course. Students attend a seminar course while working as interpreters in the Law School Clinics. The course prepares students to be verbal interpreters and translators, from English to Spanish or vice versa, by introducing them to the basic strategies for written translation and oral interpretation. This includes an introduction to consecutive interpretation, general and legal translation, and specific linguistic areas relevant to the needs of the Law School Clinic clients. This community-based learning course allows the student intern to use his/her Spanish abilities while helping Villanova law students represent clients.

In order to satisfy the internship requirement, students need to complete 150 hours of work (30 course semester hours + 120 hours of service at the Law School Clinic). 

After successful completion of the internship, students will be able to:

  • apply consecutive interpretation skills in a real-world setting.
  • demonstrate accurate and faithful translation in the target language.
  • develop the ability to process linguistic information quickly and make fast decisions while interpreting telephonic and face-to-face interviews with native Spanish speakers.
  • acquire the necessary skills and lexical competence to be able to translate legal documents and correspondence.
  • develop awareness of different migration issues that the Hispanic and Latino community face across Pennsylvania and in other parts of the US.

In order to participate in the course as an intern, the student must have native or near-native command of both Spanish and English and an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher. The interns must be a sophomore, junior or a senior at the time of the internship. Freshmen students will also be considered upon special permission of the Chair of Romance Languages.

Preference will be given in the following order: Spanish majors and minors, native speakers of Spanish, and students from fields of study others than Spanish. The Spanish Internship will count (3 credits) towards the Spanish Major and/or Minor and 3 credits for an elective course.


To apply, contact Dr. Raúl Diego Rivera Hernández, Ph.D.


“This program has been an amazing experience, as I have been able to combine my interests in law and continuing to practice Spanish as well. The stories, cases, lessons and experiences made this past semester are some that I will carry throughout my entire life moving forward.” 

– Chris Klemick '24 CLAS.


“The Community Interpreter Internship has been an excellent opportunity for me to understand the importance of language when it comes to having the accessibility of different legal services. By hearing other stories about the Latinx community, I can communicate better with intention and passion to the people I’m aiding.” 

– Liseth Mejia Perez '26 CLAS.

Spanish Undergraduate Coordinator:
Dr. Salvatore Poeta
St. Augustine Center 336

Hispanic Honor Society:
Dr. Adriano Duque
St. Augustine Center 349

Spanish Lower Division Coordinator
Dr. Cristina Percoco
St. Augustine Center 344

Oral and Written Proficiency for all languages:
Dr. Cristina Percoco
St. Augustine Center 344