Legal Administrative Assistant Associate Degree

In addition to a legal assistant, also known as a paralegal, law offices often need the services of a legal administrative assistant. These individuals help ease the daily operations of a law office. Learn about program requirements for legal administrative assistant associate's degree programs and see what the outlook is for the occupation. Schools offering Legal Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Legal Administrative Assistant Associate's Degree Program Entail?

Though there are 1-year programs that may lead to a certificate or diploma, you can choose to enroll in a comprehensive 2-year program leading to an associate's degree. A legal administrative assistant program can take you 18-24 months to complete and may consist of 65-108 credits leading to an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science.

Courses discuss the fundamentals of office administration, such as keyboarding, business communication and database applications. Law-related courses can include legal research and writing, litigation, legal terminology, law office information systems, transcription and document preparation. Most programs require you to complete an internship or co-op program at a school-approved legal office. State guidelines may influence a school's curriculum, such as length and content.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists more than 120 community colleges and technical schools that may offer programs specifically geared toward an associate's degree as a legal administrative assistant as of 2016. But you can also locate paralegal or legal assistant associate's degree programs approved by the American Bar Association at its website.

Common Courses Office administration, business communication, keyboarding, legal research, transcription
Online Availability Full and partial online programs are available
Degree Benefits Gain the skills in law office procedures and legal terminology required to work in the field
Careers Outlook* (2014-2024) 3% (legal secretaries), 8% (paralegals)
Median Salary* (2014) $35,970 (legal secretaries), $48,350 (paralegals)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Online Options Are Available?

You can pursue a program partially or fully online. If internships, field trips or lab sections are included as part of the program, you must complete them in a live setting. Schools may allow you to complete general education courses and some law-related courses online. Programs that don't include an in-person requirement may include a capstone project. Online schooling is generally asynchronous, but needs to be completed within a prescribed time frame.

Why Should I Pursue This Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a legal administrative assistant is comparable to a legal or law secretary. You may qualify for an entry-level secretarial position with just a high school diploma and some basic office skills. However, the BLS further states that legal administrative assistants are required to undergo specialized training to familiarize with legal terminology and law office procedures.

What Is the Occupational Outlook?

The BLS notes that you may enhance your employment and advancement possibilities by becoming certified. The National Association of Legal Secretaries offers the Accredited Legal Secretary designation to those who have one year of experience and pass an exam. With additional experience, you may be eligible to sit for a certification examination as a Professional Legal Secretary or Professional Paralegal. Further studies and experience can qualify you to sit for the Legal Secretaries International, Inc. Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) examination.

In 2014, the BLS determined employment opportunities for legal secretaries would increase 3% from 2014-2024. In contrast, paralegal opportunities would increase 8% over the same time period. As of 2014, the BLS determined the median annual wage for legal secretaries or administrative assistants to be $35,970, while paralegals came in at $48,350.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • American InterContinental University

    American InterContinental University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American InterContinental University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • South University

    South University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Yuba College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Marysville
  • Yakima Valley Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Yakima
  • Walla Walla Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Walla Walla
  • University of Rio Grande

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Rio Grande
  • University of Northwestern Ohio

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Lima
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Trumbull Business College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Warren