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NAPABA’s Language Access Project began in the spring of 2006 with the hire of our first AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. The goal of the project was to advocate for the rights of limited English proficient (LEP) Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) in the justice system. This led to the project’s success in developing a language access report that is now widely circulated among language access advocates.

"Interpreting Justice: Progress and Challenges on Language Access," 2017 - 10 Year Anniversary

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) groundbreaking report on the state of Language Access for Asian Pacific Americans. Since then it has been widely used by advocates, courts, and bar associations, including in the preparation of the ABA Standards on Language Access.

Nov. 2, 2017, NAPABA released its 2017 language access report, "Interpreting Justice: Progress and Challenges on Language Access." Twenty-one million Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S, and 35 percent of the Asian American population are limited English proficient and there are few resources to help them navigate through the complex court systems and administrative agencies. 10 years after the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) first report on language access, NAPABA has published and launched its second edition. This 2017 report highlights the current state of language access at the federal and state courts and agencies as well as provide recommendations.


Click here to download the report                  Click here to the Fact Sheet

Language Access Report, 2007

In 2007, our Language Access Project produced “Increasing Access to Justice for Low-Income Asian Pacific Americans,” a language access report. Based on research compiled from articles, reports, surveys, and other gathering efforts, NAPABA offers this report with recommendations to diminish language barriers in judicial and administrative proceedings for LEP APAs.

Increasing Access to Limited English
Proficient Asian Pacific Americans


Click here to download the May 2007 report.

Get Involved

Since the establishment of the Language Access Project, NAPABA has been working with the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division on language access to the courts matters based on Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. We strongly encourage all NAPABA members to help ensure that the rights of LEP individuals are met in the courts and in other federally funded entities. You may file violations or complaints at the DOJ’s LEP website at

Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Private Attorney Involvement Program (PAI) was developed to provide “quality legal assistance to eligible low income individuals and families” (LSC Program Letter 2007). The LSC’s PAI program links private attorneys to LSC funded legal aid offices. This program also offers different options on how attorneys can use their time whether through counseling, legal workshops, direct representation, etc. LSC funded legal aid offices are required to set aside a percentage of funds for private attorneys to provide legal services for legal aid clients. You can find more information about the PAI program and the LSC funded legal aid office closest to you at

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Ste. 510
Washington, DC 20006


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