Individuals interested in working in a law office may pursue an associate's degree as a legal administration assistant. This 2-year program provides individuals with the entry-level skills needed to work in legal offices assisting office managers, lawyers and their clients. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Optional certification is available through professional organizations.
Associate's Degree in Legal Administration
The curriculum of an Associate's in Legal Administration centers around legal topics. Students can expect to do a lot of writing and research in this program, which requires at least a high school diploma or GED. Program coursework covers topics such as legal terminology, the court system and office communication. These programs may also offer employment opportunities or internships that give students practical working experience. Course topics may include:
- Business accounting
- Legal transcription
- Criminal procedures
- Organizational behavior
Employment Outlook & Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that between 2014 and 2024 the employment for legal secretaries was expected to decline by 4% (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the mean annual salary for legal secretaries was $46,470, per the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates interested in improving their employment and advancement opportunities may seek professional credentials. For example, The National Association of Legal Secretaries offers the Professional Legal Secretary certification for individuals with at least three years of legal experience. This exam-based certification is for legal assistants who have mastered office skills, displayed sound judgment and who have gained knowledge about procedural law, the law library and preparing legal documents.
The Associate's in Legal Administration degree program prepares students with skills such as proficiency in legal terminology, management, and criminal procedures. These skills prepare graduates as legal secretaries, and after a few years of work experience, students will be prepared for certification exams for professional credentials.