Students interested in this field may earn an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree with a concentration in legal office administration. These programs offer students the chance to learn about general office skills and skills specific to a legal office. The legal focus of a program usually covers terminology, transcription and legal document preparation. Programs usually take two years to complete and require a high school diploma or the equivalent for admission.
Associate of Specialized Business in Legal Office Administration
Programs are usually designed for those who are planning to get their first legal office job, but they can also be helpful to those who already have experience. In addition to law-related classes, students can take courses that help them develop skills such as word processing, database management and desktop publishing. The core courses may cover topics like:
- Office procedures
- Business correspondence
- Legal document formatting
- Legal transcription
- Business law
- Legal terminology
- Paralegal studies
- Legal research methods
- Civil law procedures
- Criminal law procedures
Popular Career Options
These programs typically prepare students to work in legal offices. Individuals may find work in private firms, corporations or government agencies. Possible job titles include:
- Office manager
- Administrative assistant
- Legal secretary
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
For individuals trained in legal office administration, employment and salary potential varies by field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), legal secretaries earned a mean annual salary of $46,470 in May 2015, but demand in the field is expected to be slower than average, with a decline in job opportunities of roughly 4% between 2014 and 2024. Meanwhile, paralegals and legal assistants are projected to see 8% job growth from 2014 to 2024, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The mean annual salary for paralegals and legal assistants was $52,390 in May 2015, based on BLS data.
There are multiple certifications available for general and legal office personnel. According to the BLS, the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS) and Legal Secretaries International, Inc. offer certifications specifically for those working in legal offices (www.bls.gov). The NALS offers the Accredited Legal Secretary designation. Legal Secretaries International offers the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist designation. Both organizations require testing to earn the designations.
Although ASB programs in legal office administration do not exist, interested students can get the training they need by earning an AS or AAS degree in office administration with a concentration in legal office administration.