How legal firms and translation partners can achieve seamless collaboration




Are you a buyer of translation services who works in the legal field? Are you new to it, or do you want to improve your translation selection process? Then this article is for you!

Here, we will explore the main questions and criteria to consider, and why your translation partner should offer a solid onboarding process tailored to your needs.


Following are the main questions and criteria that you should consider when selecting a new translation partner:

  • Does the translation agency have solid knowledge of our industry and proven experience?

The translation agency you choose should have an in-depth understanding of the legal industry and proven experience in this specific field: besides terminology, understanding different types of documents and specific needs inherent to legal firms. Time is paramount to legal teams, so choosing a translation agency with a high sense of urgency is critical, even before the start of collaboration.


  • Is the translation agency ISO-compliant?

ISO translation certification (such as ISO 9100 or ISO 17100) is key for ensuring that all translation steps (from selecting the most appropriate team to the review and delivery phases) are performed at the highest quality level.


  • What is their level of technology?

Does the translation provider have translation technology to accelerate the delivery of translations (such as machine translation + post-editing, glossaries and translation term bases)? This is important not only in terms of speed, but also for the purposes of consistent terminology.


  • Is our data in safe hands?

Legal teams deal with sensitive and confidential documentation on a daily basis, so translation agencies must have robust security measures to protect customer data. Asking for evidence of data encryption, non-disclosure agreements and secure file transfer protocols can be a good idea.


  •  Will we have a primary point of contact and a dedicated team?

Find out if there will be a single point of contact (a dedicated project manager) and a dedicated team of linguists. If so, there is a lower risk of miscommunication in the future.

  • Can this translation agency streamline invoicing and accommodate our terms?

If your firm has specific payment terms, make sure that the translation agency can accommodate them, and that it has a streamlined invoicing process.


Once you have selected your new translation partner, this agency should have a solid onboarding process specifically designed for your legal firm. If not, chances are that communication and quality issues will arise.


Let’s address the main topics that a solid onboarding by your new translation partner should include:


  1. Legal terminology: your chosen translation partner should question your legal team on the existence of preferred terminology and jargon. Their team should create a specific translation memory and additional tools, such as term bases, glossaries, etc. to help eliminate errors and inconsistencies and leverage your content in the near future.

  2. Translation process: your tailored onboarding should provide an overview of their translation workflow, including how translations are performed, reviewed and delivered, as per your corporate structure and needs. This will help you understand all of the steps and what to expect throughout the process.

  3. Quality control: your new translation partner should have a solid quality process that caters to all of your general preferences. All quality steps are necessary (from translation by a native, specialized translator to the proofreading or reviewing by a second native expert linguist). At this point, your translation partner should also determine the best system for addressing any issues or errors that may arise. Also, a detailed analysis of sample corporate documents previously created by your team could be important for a better assessment of your corporate style and tone.

  4. Communication: the onboarding process should also include your organization's main points of contact and preferred contact methods. This level of detail is crucial for a streamlined and frictionless communication process.


After reading this article, we hope you will be much more confident when analyzing translation proposals. Indeed, asking the right questions will help you choose a suitable translation partner. With solid onboarding by your new partner, translation becomes much more straightforward, faster and safer.

L10N Global has solid experience in the legal field, helping legal firms and legal divisions alike succeed in a global market.
Feel free to reach out to us and discuss your needs with our Client Solutions Team.

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