Program Options

Note: Some US states may require licensing or certification for legal administrative assistants. Therefore, it is important that students contact their local state authority before enrolling in a specific program.

Certificate in Legal Administration / Diploma in Legal Administration – Eight to Ten Month Duration
This is the most common credential held by practising legal administrative assistants.
Certificate and diploma programs teach only subjects in the major. They are focused exclusively on the various aspects of legal administration.

Associate Degree in Legal Administration – One to Two Year Duration
A legal administration associate program combines courses in the major with some liberal arts classes in subjects such as English literature and composition, math, and the social sciences.

Despite the differences described above, legal administration courses like the following are at the heart of both of these programs:

• Introduction to Professional Communication – analyzing communication context and audience; determining purpose, message content; visual design and media to create clear and concise workplace messages
• Bookkeeping for the Law Office – basic bookkeeping functions for the legal setting, recording and posting transactions, reconciling bank statements, performing scheduling and payroll functions, distinguishing between general and trust funds
• Introduction to Legal Office Procedures – study and application of procedures and documentation related to a legal office, examination of statute and case law
• Legal Administrative Computer Applications – instruction in the detailed use of file management, PDF, presentation, electronic communications, and spreadsheet software
• Legal Document Preparation and Production – creating and formatting complex legal documents and layouts using document production programs currently utilized in the legal field
• Legal Office Relations and Conflict Resolution –workplace relationships, self-awareness, assertiveness, group dynamics, intercultural communication, stress management, strategies for conflict resolution
• Corporate Law and Procedure – procedures and terminology relating to corporate law, government regulations for business, preparing documentation for incorporation of a company, post-incorporation and annual requirements, changes throughout a company’s life cycle, maintaining and filing appropriate documents in a corporate records book
• Conveyancing – procedures and documentation related to the transfer of real estate; transfer of title of residential properties and strata title; mortgage financing
• Wills and Estates – preparing and processing of wills, codicils (an addition that explains, modifies, or revokes a will or part of one), applications for Letters of Probate and Letters of Administration; correspondence regarding estates and distribution and passing of accounts
• Litigation and Civil Procedure – preparation and processing of civil litigation documents, including application and trial procedures
• Family Law and Procedures – preparation and processing of family law documents including trial procedures and collections procedures from court judgements; legal procedures and documentation related to marriage agreements, separation agreements, division of family assets, defended and undefended divorces; state requirements of divorce law and family law
• Legal Administration Practicum – workplace experience in legal administration

Skills You'll Learn

Attention to Detail
For legal administrative assistants, attention to detail is paramount. There is no room for error in legal communication and recordkeeping.

Bookkeeping and Scheduling
The legal administrative assistant is typically the chief bookkeeper and scheduler in a law office.

Communication and Teamwork
Legal administrative assistants must frequently interact with supervising attorneys and paralegals, as well as clients. They are an essential liaison in legal work.

Multitasking
Law firms are busy places that rely on accomplished administrators who can juggle multiple tasks.

Organization
Litigation and legal transactions generate vast amounts of documents and data. Much of this information must be organized and managed by the law firm’s administrative staff.

Technology / Office Applications
The technology skills required in a legal administrative role are wide-ranging. They include word processing, spreadsheets, telecommunications, databases, and law office and scheduling software.

Writing
Clear and concise writing is integral to the legal administration role.

Salary

Find out what graduates typically earn.

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