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Legal Secretary Certificate

Overview:

This intensive program is designed for both beginning and experienced secretaries who are interested in improving their skills and working more efficiently within the law office. Students will study such topics as: legal terminology; legal process; jurisdiction and venue; ethics; written communications including letters, pleadings, discovery, notices and motions; filing procedures, billing and accounting; time management; records management; an overview of commonly used word and data processing programs; legal research; memoranda preparation, and citation format.

Lesson 1: During this first section students will receive an introduction to the theory of law, the legal process, and the nature of the practice of law. Discussion will include the process of law as well as the specific legal terminology. Ethics are also covered.

Lesson 2: This section addresses the particulars of law office management. This session also studies technology used in the law office. Students will be exposed to actual court documents and will prepare some of these documents as part of their homework.

Lesson 3: The final section will be spent examining the intricacies of the law office, including office procedure manuals, billing techniques, and overall management techniques of the law office. Students will also be introduced to the basics of legal research and proper citation format. Job search strategies and placement possibilities will also be discussed.

This is an accelerated course. Students will be expected to spend an average of 8 hours per lesson reading and completing writing assignments. Please note that extensions will not be granted for this online course. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.

Course Objectives:

Participants will demonstrate the following skills through successful completion of all required coursework and assignments:

  • Discuss the origins and history of the American legal system
  • Define and apply important legal terminology
  • Discuss ethics for the law office
  • Demonstrate professionalism and organization
  • Identify the important rules of e-discovery
  • Demonstrate proper file management and discuss common filing systems
  • Demonstrate how to use some of the common word processing features and other computer applications specifically for the law office
  • Demonstrate how to prepare legal documents including letters, pleadings, discovery documents, motions and memos
  • Apply the basic rules of citation format
  • Define the elements of law office management

Required Textbooks:

Legal Secretary Handbook, 2nd Edition, ISBN# 978-0-9637248-3-0. This book is only available for purchase through CLS. 

Prerequisites:

This course presumes a basic knowledge of word processing and a typing proficiency of at least 50 words per minute. Basic word processing and typing skills will not be covered in this course.

Upcoming Offerings:

New sessions begin every 8 weeks.

2014 - 2015 Sessions:

  • Aug. 25 - Oct. 10, 2014
  • Oct. 20 - Dec. 5, 2014
  • Jan. 12 - Feb. 27, 2015
  • Mar. 9 - Apr. 24, 2015

Tuition:

Tuition is $575. Successfully completion results in a Certificate of Completion from University of the Pacific. Books are an additional cost and can be purchased directly from The Center for Legal Studies

Additional Information:

Syllabus

The Center for Legal Studies

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