Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in legal office administration or office technology are designed to show students how to use current information systems and software. They may also include studies in e-ministration, or e-administration, which refers to the process by which paperwork is handled electronically and a paperless business environment is created. Offered at community colleges, the programs emphasize computer literacy, administrative procedures and introductory legal studies. Programs commonly offer coursework in general office administration concepts as well as subjects specific to legal environments.
Associate's Degree in Legal Office Administration
The specialized curriculum can combine traditional administrative principles with instruction in current computer programs like Microsoft Office. Students can learn how to prepare documents, work with electronic spreadsheets and manage databases. They can also become knowledgeable in the fundamentals of business law, keyboarding, business English and legal terminology. The educational prerequisite for these associate degree programs is typically a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Courses can include:
- Word processing
- Legal transcription
- Business communications
- Database management
- Legal research
- Information and records management
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), legal secretaries are expected to see 4% decline in employment from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). These professionals are expected to assume more responsibility for tasks formerly performed by managers and professionals. Under the supervision of a lawyer or a paralegal, administrators and secretaries might be called upon to help with legal research and verify information found in legal briefs. They may also prepare the paperwork for legal complaints, court motions, summonses and subpoenas. The BLS reported that as of May 2015, the mean annual wage for legal secretaries was $46,470.
Students may be able to transfer from associate degree programs to bachelor's degree programs to advance their careers. Professionals who want to further their knowledge of the law might consider a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies or a Bachelor of Science in Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies (BLA).
Even though it is not possible to earn an associate's degree specifically in legal office e-ministration, there are several AAS programs that provide the necessary training for students who want to work in law offices.