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About the Legal Office Secretary Certificate

Catalog Year: 2014-2015 (view other years)
Minimum credits required:  24

Gainful Employment Data

The Legal Office Secretary certificate is designed to prepare students for entry-level secretarial positions in law offices.

Note: The student is expected to have mastered basic keyboarding skills before beginning this program.


Program-Specific Requirements

Course Course Title Hours
ACC121 Introductory Accounting

ACC 121. Introductory Accounting (3). General ledger bookkeeping and preparing financial statements. Three lecture.

1. Analyzing and recording transactions: general journal and general ledger
2. Trial balance and adjusting entries
3. Financial statements
4. Closing entries and post-closing trial balance
5. The accounting cycle for a merchandising concern - periodic inventory method
6. Cash accounting and banking procedures
7. Sales and cash receipts
8. Purchases and cash payments
9. Ethics in accounting

1. Use generally accepted accounting principles to perform general ledger bookkeeping for a service business. (1, 2, 4, 6)
2. Analyze and record financial transactions into a general ledger bookkeeping system for a merchandising concern. (5-8)
3. Prepare general-purpose financial statements for service and merchandising concerns. (3, 5)
4. Prepare a bank reconciliation report. (6)
5. Appraise financial scenarios for ethical concerns. (9)

BSA105 Business English

BSA 105. Business English (3). Developing or reviewing good language skills for occupational purposes. Covers spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure and word usage. Utilizes business-oriented materials. Prerequisite: Reading Proficiency. Three lecture.

1. Basic language skills
a. Grammar
b. Punctuation
c. Word usage
d. Numbers in business
2. Business vocabulary
a. Spelling
b. Definitions
3. Business correspondence
a. Stationery
b. Parts of a business letter
c. Arrangements
d. Message

1. Define more than 100 business terms.
2. Master a spelling list emphasizing business terms.
3. Demonstrate basic grammar and punctuation skills.
4. Identify the parts of a business letter and envelope.
5. Select appropriate salutations and closings.
6. Demonstrate techniques of paragraphing a business letter.

BSA111 Creative Leadership

BSA 111. Creative Leadership (1). Lead, motivate and inspire your team with creative leadership. One lecture.

1. Motivate and recognize employees.
2. Benefits of humor in the workplace.
3. Create a work atmosphere that stimulates innovation.
4. Positive and negative thinking.

1. Identify ways to motivate and recognize employees. (1)
2. Discuss the benefits of humor in the workplace. (2)
3. Identify ways to create a work atmosphere that stimulates innovation. (3)
4. Create an action plan to recognize negative and promote positive thinking in the workplace. (4)

OR BSA112 Lead: Juggling Mult Priorities

BSA 112. Leadership: Juggling Multiple Priorities (1). Basic techniques to increase team collaboration. How effective leaders spend their time. One lecture.

1. Leadership principles.
2. How leaders increase collaboration among their team.
3. Time management
4. Urgency addiction

1. Identify skills of effective leaders. (1)
2. Apply team-building strategies. (2)
3. Apply time management strategies. (3)
4. Explain urgency addiction. (4)

OR BSA113 Leading Out Loud

BSA 113. Leadership Communication: Leading Out Loud (1). Speaking skills and communication techniques for leaders. One lecture.

1. Speaking skills of leader/communicator.
2. Oral communication delivery techniques.
a. Informative
b. Impromptu
c. Vision

1. Identify skills of leaders/communicators. (1)
2. Analyze and discuss communication delivery techniques to enhance leadership development. (2)
3. Apply oral communication delivery and presentation techniques. (2)
a. Informative
b. Impromptu
c. Vision

BSA233 Business Communications

BSA 233. Business Communication (3). Communication theory, writing for the workplace, business letters and reports, electronic communication, professional presentations and communicating for employment. Prerequisite: Reading Proficiency. Three lecture.

1. Communication foundations
a. process of communication
b. verbal and nonverbal communication
c. using words effectively
2. Written communication in the workplace
a. positive and negative messages
b. persuasive writing
c. memorandums
3. Letters and reports
a. business letter formats
b. short reports
4. Electronic media and communication
a. email messages
b. communicating with new technology
c. social networking in the workplace
5. Professional presentations
a. oral presentations
b. public speaking skills
c. presentation software
6. Communicating for employment
a. resume and cover letter
b. interview preparation

1. Identify the elements of effective communication. (1)
2. Create purposeful written messages to a specific business audience. (2)
3. Compose business letters and short reports to communicate information or data. (3)
4. Identify methods of communication using the latest technology. (4)
5. Prepare and deliver an oral presentation. (5)
6. Compose a professional resume and employment cover letter. (6)

CSA112 Keyboarding Skill Building

CSA 112. Keyboarding Skill Building (1). Improving keyboarding speed and accuracy. Emphasis on techniques and strategies for job-related keyboarding proficiency. Prerequisite: CSA 111. One lecture.

1. Diagnostic testing
2. Keyboarding kill building techniques
3. Speed drills
4. Accuracy drills
5. Timed writings

1. Show a minimum of 15% improvement in key stroking rate and accuracy. (1-5)

CSA140 Microsoft Word

CSA 140. Microsoft Word (2). Practical application of Microsoft Office Word. Practical application of Microsoft Office Word. Emphasis on creating and formatting content, working with visual content, and organizing documents. Two lecture.

1. Text
2. Graphics and Watermarks
3. Headers and Footers
4. Merged Documents
5. Tables and Charts
6. Footnotes and Endnotes
7. Tables of Content and Figures
8. Citations
9. Outlines
10. Templates
11. Forms
12. Web Pages
13. Links and Embeds Between Applications
14. Text and Paragraph Formatting
15. Page Setup
16. Columns
17. Styles

1. Create office documents using basic and advanced formatting features. (1-17)
2. Create templates. (10)
3. Create merged documents. (4)
4. Create forms. (11)
5. Create web pages. (12)
6. Create linked or embedded documents. (13)

CSA172 Microsoft Windows

CSA 172. Microsoft Windows (2). Personal computer operations using the Microsoft Windows operating environment. Customizing, optimizing and maintenance of desktops, folders, and documents. One lecture. Two lab.

1. Introduction to personal computers and operating systems
2. Window components
3. The Start button
4. My Computer and Help
5. File, document and folder naming conventions
6. Creating documents
7. Modifying and editing documents
8. Printing documents and using the Managing the Print queue and spool
9. Using the taskbar
10. Working with multiple windows
11. Cutting, copying and pasting
12. Object moving, copying and shortcuts
13. Sorting and finding documents
14. Using the Recycle Bin
15. Using system tools such as defrag and scandisk
16. Explorer Window
17. System shut down

1. Identify fundamental personal computing concepts and terminology.
2. Identify components of the Windows screen; select items with the mouse pointer; access Windows features by using the Start button; and work with windows by using buttons and dragging techniques.
3. Observe the contents of a disk by using the My Computer icon; and access a disk quickly by creating a desktop shortcut.
4. Work with multiple programs by using the taskbar to switch between windows.
5. Share data between applications using the Edit Copy and Edit Paste commands.
6. Display the contents of a disk by using the Windows Explorer; create a folder by using a shortcut menu; copy and move documents and folders by dragging them; and sort and locate documents.
7. Prepare a disk for use with the Format command; copy and move groups of documents; delete and restore documents by using the Recycle Bin; and exit Windows.
8. Create a custom user interface by changing properties of the taskbar, the desktop, and other components.
9. Create subfolders and modify file attributes.
10. Manipulate the print queue; set up a printer to print.

LAW100 Intro to Paralegal Studies

LAW 100. Introduction to Paralegal Studies (3). Introduction to the role of the paralegal in the legal system, including the federal and state court systems, ethics, regulation and professional responsibility, legal analysis, research and basic legal concepts. Includes professional development and job search strategies. Three lecture.

1. Introduction to the paralegal profession
a. History
b. Education
c. Skills
2. Careers in the legal community
3. The regulation of legal professionals
4. Ethics and professional responsibility
5. Introduction to law
a. Sources
b. Court system and alternative dispute resolution
c. Fundamental legal concepts
6. Civil and criminal litigation and procedures
7. Legal analysis and writing
8. Legal research

1. Describe the American judicial system and the responsibilities of the various court systems.
2. Distinguish between civil and criminal litigation, and describe the stages of litigation.
3. Describe and explain basic concepts of law.
4. Apply legal analysis to the briefing of cases and problem solving.
5. Define the issues of the paralegal profession, and discuss professional development and job search strategies.
6. Apply principles of ethics and professional responsibility to specific scenarios.

LAW101 Legal Ethics & Prof Respnsblty

LAW 101. Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility (1). State and national ethical codes and rules of professional responsibility, ethical dilemmas and methods for researching answers, professionalism, and the unauthorized practice of law. One lecture.

1. Codes of ethics and rules of professional responsibility
2. Regulation of lawyers and non-lawyers
3. Ethical dilemmas
4. Methods for researching answers to ethical dilemmas
5. Professionalism
6. Unauthorized practice of law

1. Identify state and national codes of ethics and rules of professional responsibility.
2 Delineate regulations pertaining to lawyers and non-lawyers.
3. Describe ethical dilemmas.
4. Research answers to ethical dilemmas.
5. Identify best practices representing professionalism.
6. Analyze statutes and rules relating to the unauthorized practice of law.

LAW105 Legal Computer Apps

LAW 105. Legal Computer Applications (2). Introduction to computer software and software applications used in a law office and the business community. Includes computer research tools, e-mail, application of general office management software to the legal environment, ethical considerations, and law office practice concepts. Prerequisite: LAW 100 (may be taken concurrently) and CSA 140. Two lecture.

1. Computer hardware and software; concepts of law office management
2. Software programs for law office management including computer research, e-mail, and application of general office management software to the legal environment
3. WESTLAW and Internet research
4. Complex legal documents
5. The law office and law practice of the 21st century
6. Ethical considerations and basic law office practice concepts
7. Electronic presentation software

1. Explain the use of technology in the practice of law and in the management of the law office. (1-5,7)
2. Identify a variety of computer tools available to assist the legal professional in the performance of daily tasks. (1-3,5,7)
3. Identify research strategies in the use of WESTLAW and Internet research. (3)
4. Describe the application of general office management software packages to the legal environment (ex: word processing, database management, spreadsheets, and presentation software) and prepare complex legal documents. (2,4,7)
5. Use legal software applications packages:
a. Standard Internet browser to conduct Internet research. (2,3)
b. WESTLAW (legal research). (2,3).
c. General office management software (ex: word processing, database management, spreadsheets, presentation software. (1,2,4,5,7)
d. Other legal-specific software as appropriate and available. (2,3,4,5)
6. Find, evaluate and summarize new and emerging software and hardware technologies for the law office. (2,3,5)
7. Identify and explain ethical concerns relating to technology and the practice of law. (6)
8. Design an electronic slideshow using presentation software. (7)

LAW107 Law Office Management

LAW 107. Law Office Management (3). Processes and standards of law office management including record keeping, timekeeping, billing, calendaring and docket control. Emphasis on the principles and practices of law office management for manual and automated systems. LAW 100 (may be taken concurrently) and CSA 140 (may be taken concurrently). Three lecture.

1. The field of law office management, standard office practices, time management and professionalism
2. Filing systems
3. Records management, classification, storage, retention, transfer and retrieval
4. Law office letters, memos, reports, table and legal documents
5. Filing legal documents with the courts
6. Timekeeping and billing
7. Calendaring and docket control
8. Confidentiality
9. Harvard Law Review Association Bluebook uniform system of legal citations

1. Employ principles of law office communication, time management, multi-tasking and initiative. (1)
2. Use filing systems as they pertain to the law office. (2)
3. Create, store, retrieve, retain and dispose of law office records using paper and paperless techniques. (3)
4. Select and use equipment and supplies for various records systems. (3)
5. Create, proofread, punctuate, format, revise and print law office letters, memos, reports, tables and legal documents. (4)
6. File legal documents with the courts. (5)
7. Carry out the mechanics of timekeeping and billing. (6)
8. Manage calendars and perform docket control procedures. (7)
9. Maintain law office confidentiality. (8)
10. Use the Harvard Law Review Association Bluebook uniform system of legal citations. (9)


Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Legal Office Secretary Certificate program, the learner will be able to:


  1. Use computer software applications including word processing, database, spreadsheet, presentation, operating systems, and internet skills to the law office setting. (CSA 172, LAW 105)
  2. Produce documents using advanced word processing skills. (CSA 112, CSA 140, LAW 105, LAW 107)
  3. Define legal terms and describe legal principles in the areas of tort, contract and criminal law. (LAW 100, LAW 107)
  4. Describe basic court systems and court procedures. (LAW 100, LAW 107)
  5. Transcribe, create, punctuate, proofread, format, revise, and print letters, memos, reports, tables, and legal documents. (BSA 105, BSA 233, LAW 105, LAW 107)
  6. Perform standard office practices including office communications, telephone skills, mailing methods, and time management. (BSA 111 or BSA 112 or BSA 113, LAW 107)
  7. Apply office-related professional etiquette skills. (LAW 107)
  8. Use multi-tasking and initiative techniques. (BSA 111 or BSA 112 or BSA 113, LAW 107)
  9. Describe legal office procedures and set priorities. (BSA 111 or BSA 112 or BSA 113, LAW 107)
  10. Complete law office billing. (LAW 105, LAW 107)
  11. Use filing systems as they pertain to the legal office. (CSA 172, LAW 107)
  12. File legal documents with the courts using appropriate procedures. (LAW 107)
  13. Maintain confidentiality as prescribed in Canons of Ethics. (LAW 101, LAW 107)
  14. Use the Harvard Law Review Bluebook uniform system of legal citations.  (LAW 107)
  15. Use general ledger bookkeeping and prepare financial statements. (ACC 121)