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RFP: Spanish Translation of Content on Michigan Legal Help Website

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RFP: Spanish Translation of Content on Michigan Legal Help website (

Responses Due: No later than 5:00pm EST, August 26, 2013

Dates of Engagement: September – December, 2013

The Michigan Poverty Law Program, through the Michigan Legal Help Program, is seeking an English-to-Spanish translator (individual or firm) to translate the background text of the Michigan Legal Help website and much of the legal information content on that website.

PROJECT OVERVIEW is a website for people who are representing themselves in relatively simple civil legal matters. The website contains legal information in several subject areas: Family Law, Housing Law, Expungement, Protection from Abuse, Consumer, Public Benefits, and Income Tax. The legal information comes in the form of articles, common questions, automated interviews that complete legal forms using information typed in by litigants, and step-by-step checklists instructing litigants what to do after they have filled out their forms. The content is written at a 6th grade reading level and in plain language to enable comprehension by a wide range of individuals needing to represent themselves. Maintaining this writing style is crucial for the Spanish content.

We are striving to launch all of the Spanish language content on the content development plan by the end of 2013. We hope to continue translating material after 2013 until the Spanish version of the site has the same content as the English version. We are beginning with the materials that we believe have the highest priority, as well as all of the generic text and content on the site that is necessary for Spanish speakers to successfully navigate the site. Translation tasks also include translation of two short video scripts and a User’s Guide. Please see attached Spanish Language Content Development Plan and corresponding content on for more details.


  • Coordinate with Michigan Legal Help staff to agree on the most effective format for providing the final translation.

  • Coordinate with Michigan Legal Help staff to ensure the use of proper business and sector-related terms in Spanish.

  • Translate the materials listed in the Spanish Language Content Development Plan from English to Spanish.


  • Final website text, legal information content, video scripts and User’s Guide text in Spanish; approximately 140,000 words to be translated


  • Excellent attention to detail and proper tone and reading level

  • Ability to understand the target audience and translate materials clearly and concisely

  • Good analytical skills

  • Ability to meet deadlines and manage multiple tasks

  • Prior experience with written translation

  • Familiarity with written translation on legal topics preferred


  • Fluency in Spanish and English

The Michigan Legal Help (MLH) Program is managed by the Michigan Poverty Law Program, and maintains a statewide interactive website at and a number of affiliated local Self-Help Centers (SHCs). The MLH Program is a grant-funded non-profit organization.

The MLH website and SHCs provide resources to individuals who are representing themselves in simple civil legal matters. The resources provide individuals with information and tools to represent themselves in civil legal matters, and with referrals to local legal aid agencies, lawyer referral services, legal self-help centers and community resources if they need more help.

The Michigan Legal Help website was publicly launched in August, 2012, and the first SHCs were opened in the fall of 2012. Staff are currently working to create additional legal information content and other resources for the website, and to open new brick-and-mortar SHCs throughout the state. Since the launch, the site has had over 207,000 visits and averages 6,000 visits per week at this time. There are five SHCs open now, and plans are underway to open seven more this year.

Candidates may submit a proposal, summary of qualifications, references, and cover letter to: no later than 5:00pm EST, August 26, 2013. In the subject line of your email please write: MLHP Spanish Translation. Late and/or incomplete submissions will not be considered. Questions and requests for clarification can be submitted in writing to Angela Tripp at This RFP does not guarantee or commit the Michigan Legal Help Program to proceeding with the above described work.

Michigan Legal Help website Spanish Language Content Development plan - 2013

Articles – approximately 56,000 words

Introduction to Divorce with Children

Physical Custody, Legal Custody and Parenting Time

The “Best Interest of the Child” Factors

Mediation and Divorce

How to Serve Divorce Papers

Child Support in a Nutshell

Spousal Support (alimony) in a Nutshell

Real Estate and Divorce

Divorce Basics: Dividing Your Property and Debt

Friend of the Court Overview

Non-Marital Children Born During a Marriage

Finishing your Michigan Divorce with Minor Children

Testimony in Final Divorce Hearing - Divorce with or without minor children

Post-Judgment Issues - Enforcing or changing your Judgment of Divorce

Instructions for completing the Divorce with Minor Children Interview

Introduction to Divorce without Children

Finishing your Michigan Divorce without Minor Children

Instructions for Completing the Divorce without Minor Children Interview

Domestic Violence and Divorce

Overview of Domestic Violence

Domestic Relationship Personal Protection Orders

Being a Defendant in a Divorce Case

Overview of a Custody Case

How to Serve Custody Papers

Minors and Personal Protection Orders

Personal Protection Order Violations and Enforcement

Serving your Personal Protection Order (PPO)

Crossing State Lines with a Personal Protection Order

Getting An Installment Payment Plan

What You Can Expect From Debt Collectors Before Court

An Overview of Garnishment

Garnishment of Tax Refunds

Are You Uncollectible?

Co-mingling of Funds

Electronically Deposited Exempt Federal benefits

Garnishment Exemptions

Objecting to Garnishments

Going to Court to Defend a Debt Collection Case

Defenses in a Debt Collection Case

Setting Aside a Default or Default Judgment in Collection Cases

Toolkits intros – approx. 2,000 words (with some repetition)

I Need a Divorce and I Have Children

I Need a Divorce and I do not Have Children

My Spouse Filed for Divorce and We have Children

My Spouse Filed for Divorce and We have No Children

Domestic Violence and Divorce with Children

Domestic Violence and Divorce without Children

I Need a Custody Order (Not Divorce)

I am a Defendant in a Custody Case (Not Divorce)

I Need a Personal Protection Order - Domestic Relationship

There is a Judgment against me; I’d like to make an Installment Payment Plan

I’m being garnished for a debt (that’s not child support)

I’ve been sued in a debt collection case

Checklists – approx. 36,000 words total (with some repetition)

the four divorce checklists - generic only

Divorce Answer checklists

Custody checklists (Plaintiff and Defendant)

Domestic PPO Checklist

Filing an Answer Checklist

Installment Payment Plan Checklist

Objecting to Garnishment Checklist

Common Questions – approx. 26,660 words total (with some repetition)

all family CQs [16,471 words approx]

all domestic PPO CQs [4000 words approx]

Consumer CQs [6190 words]

Other – approx. 12,000 words

User’s Guide [approx. 2,000 words]

Welcome Video & Going to Court Video [videos approx 9973 words]

Background website text – approx. 7500 words

all titles, headers, breadcrumb, text on home page, text in footer, text of footer pages (except PR materials and credits), contact us and survey pages, “stay connected” and “change county.”

lexicon – approx. 2,000 words

Date Posted: Aug 08, 2013