An associate's degree program in legal administration is typically open to students who have earned a high school diploma or GED. An associate's degree program in legal administration can prepare graduates for entry-level, clerical positions in legal office settings, such as administrative assistants or legal secretaries. With work experience, students can become qualified to work as legal office managers or supervisors. Programs can typically be completed in two years and typically include about 60 credit hours of study.
Associate's Degree in Legal Administration
Students in these programs can focus on a variety of subjects vital for legal administrative responsibilities, including keyboarding, database management and accounting. They may also engage in co-op work experiences to gain professional training. Common course topics may include:
- Legal transcription
- Business law and ethics
- Legal document formatting
- Legal research and writing
- Office software applications
Popular Career Options
The associate's degree prepares students for several careers within legal administration. Some of those opportunities include:
- Legal secretary
- Administrative assistant
- Legal office manager
- Legal office supervisor
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), legal secretaries are expected to see a 3% increase in employment from 2014-2024. Applicants who have extensive computer software knowledge are predicted to be the most competitive in this field (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that legal secretaries earned a median salary of $43,200 in May 2015.
Voluntary certification can help legal secretaries demonstrate professional competency to prospective employers. A variety of organizations, including Legal Secretaries International and the National Association for Legal Secretaries offer multiple credentials and certification options for legal secretaries. Individuals seeking professional designations must typically meet minimum training and work experience requirements.
The Associate of Legal Administration prepares students with the administrative and clerical knowledge needed to thrive as a legal secretary. These programs usually focus on litigation, legal research, and database management.