In courthouses across the U.S., access to justice requires the use of languages spoken around the globe. As one of only seven State Certified Court Interpreters in Illinois for the Russian language, College of DuPage alumna Olga Bronovytska plays an integral role in helping a defendant with limited English proficiency understand proceedings and assist in their case from beginning to end.
“Regardless of the legal outcome of a case, the bottom line is that meaningful access to the process is provided to the defendant,” Bronovytska said.
A 2020 COD Paralegal Studies graduate, Bronovytska said COD provided her a solid foundation to learning the legal proceedings that take place in a courtroom.
“Without completing the Paralegal Studies program at COD, I would not have been comfortable interpreting hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings,” she said. “Without specific education in the legal field, it is just impossible to embrace and be fluent in legal proceedings. I decided I needed to go through the entire program to obtain a solid foundation.”
Having a busy family life combined with her interpreting job, Bronovytska took only one or two classes per semester. She was thrilled with the encouragement she received from both faculty and peers, including Paralegal Professor Sally Fairbank.
“Professor Fairbank made me realize how many more professional opportunities would open up if I completed the program,” she said. “I was also amazed with the support that faculty provided. It was immediate.”
Fairbank credits Bronovytska’s tenacity during her time in the program and has enjoyed seeing her flourish in the field.
“I am always impressed to see what our graduates do with their certification after graduating and Olga is no exception,” she said. “Court interpreters play such a vital role in the constitutional process, and they allow everyone, no matter their background, a fair trial.”
During the next few years, Bronovytska—who also professionally interprets Ukrainian and speaks French and Mandarin, plans to continue working as a court interpreter. She has interest towards corporate law and bankruptcy law. Her long-term goal is to find employment with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or with a corporation where she could use both linguistic skills and knowledge obtained during her time in the Paralegal Studies program.
“My COD professors provided me with consistent support throughout the program, and to them I must give a sincere ‘thank you.’”