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Associate Degree Programs in Legal Administration

Majors Overview December 19, 2013

Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree programs that focus on training legal secretaries will prepare students to supply various clerical services necessary in law offices. Usually, these programs are offered as an office administration program concentrated on legal office or offered directly in legal administration.

A.A. Programs in Legal Administration

Students enrolled in an Associate Degree Program in Legal Administration not only complete coursework but are also provided with hands-on training via field trips, office simulations, and shadowing experiences. Interpersonal skills that facilitate problem-solving and effective communication are also emphasized. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Classes in general office procedures, such as word processing and keyboarding, are augmented by courses focused specifically on legal office procedures and clerical skills. Students are also given the chance to study business and criminal law among other aspects of the law. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Accounting
•Business communications
•Legal transcription
•Office technology
•Office management
•Records management
•Legal procedures

Career Choices

Administrators and legal secretaries usually communicate and work with judges, attorneys and legal assistants in preparing correspondence and legal papers including subpoenas, summonses, motions and complaints. Assistance with legal research and review of law journals may also be expected from legal secretaries who may seek entry-level jobs in various work settings such as:

•Legal organizations
•Governmental agencies
•Private law offices
•Corporations

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

While job givers don’t expect professionals in the field to hold certification, acquiring credentials will help these professionals to showcase their skills and knowledge in the field to potential employers. Multiple certifications can be earned by legal secretaries via Legal Secretaries International and the National Association of Legal Secretaries among other organizations.

Some legal office administrators and legal secretaries may be given an on-the-job training opportunity that would enable them to seek paralegal positions. Students who seek continued education could aim at earning a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies.

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