Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate Programs in San Diego

The San Diego area has two colleges that offer legal administrative assistant programs. Learn about the certificate programs, admission info and program requirements for both of these schools, which are less than 15 miles from downtown, and make an informed education decision.

San Diego Schools with Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate Programs

Prospective students looking to earn a legal administrative assistant certificate have two institutional options to choose from in the San Diego area. This article looks at both those schools and the programs that are available. There is also a table of information that could be useful to prospective students. This table includes statistics on the schools' enrollment and tuition.

  • Southwestern College (SWC) is 14 miles from downtown San Diego in Chula Vista. It has several relevant certificate programs. In addition to a basic legal office professional certificate, the school offers basic and intensive certificate programs for bilingual (English/Spanish) legal office professionals.
  • Students at San Diego City College (SDCC) can earn a Certificate of Achievement: Computer Business Technology - Legal Administrative Assistant. This school is less than a mile from downtown San Diego.

Southwestern College

Established in 1961, Southwestern College is a 2-year, public institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. SWC offers prospective students three certificate options for legal administrative assistant training, two of which are bilingual programs in English and Spanish.

Certificate of Proficiency in Legal Office Professional-Basic

This basic program teaches keyboarding, customer service, computer and legal office procedures, as well as filing and records management. Students are trained in the court proceedings of various categories of law and are taught to develop word processing skills. The program ranges from 16.5-17.5 units. Graduates of this certificate program may build on this foundation by earning additional certificates in a specialized type of law.

Certificate of Achievement in Legal Office Professional-Bilingual (English/Spanish) Basic

Students in this program train to be bilingual professionals in a legal office. The research and preparation of legal reports and forms is the program's main focus, though advanced training in bilingual legal terminology and word processing are also emphasized. Required courses include keyboarding, customer service, computer and legal office procedures training, as well as Business English and legal terminology classes. The program includes a total of 21-22 units of study, including a Spanish learning course for those students who need it. Students who complete this certificate can go on to earn specialization certificates focused on bilingual offices with specializations in civil litigation, criminal law, family law, immigration law, international business law or wills, trusts and estates.

Certificate of Achievement in Legal Office Assistant-Bilingual (English/Spanish) Intensive Training

This program is specifically designed to train students to work in a bilingual legal office setting. Bilingual legal terminology, reception skills and legal office procedures are covered in depth. The program consists of 18-20 units of study, including between two and four units of cooperative work experience. Students are required to take courses in legal office assistant training, keyboarding and business English in addition to work experience-based classes.

San Diego City College

Founded in 1914, San Diego City College is a 2-year, public institution located in downtown San Diego. SDCC has one certificate-level program for students looking to become administrative assistants in law offices or in the legal departments of businesses or organizations.

Certificate of Achievement: Computer Business Technology in Legal Administrative Assistant

SDCC's legal administrative assistant certificate program is one of several computer business technology programs offered, all of which are designed to increase a student's overall computer skills and business acumen in addition to the knowledge targeted at their specific program of study. The program specifically trains students for secretarial work in a legal office, but is also applicable to working in a bank, real estate office or civil service organization. The entire program consists of 30 units of coursework on computers, legal offices and business management. Enrolled students are required to take specific courses in a variety of Microsoft applications, legal procedures and business mathematics and law, among other relevant classes. Students may opt to take a departmental keyboarding test in lieu of the program's keyboarding course requirements.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are deciding on a school need to have access to information about their options. This table presents data on these two institutions in a format that invites comparison.

Southwestern College San Diego City College
School Type 2-year; public* 2-year; public*
Total Enrollment (2011) 20,409 17,728
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $1,052 in-state; $6,372 out-of-state* $898 in-state; $5,290 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011) 73%* 84%*
Retention Rate (2010) 70% for full-time students; 43% for part-time students* 60% for full-time students; 36% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2008) 12% (8% transfer-out rate)* 12% (14% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.

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