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Online Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate Programs

Learn about online legal administrative assistant schools and certificate programs. Explore office and legal course topics, professional certification options and career possibilities after program completion.

What Does an Online Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate Program Entail?

Online legal administrative assistant or secretary certificate programs are typically offered at community colleges or trade schools. Before enrolling, it is advised that you already have strong word processing and typing skills, since you'll be expanding upon these areas in the certificate program. Online programs typically take one year or less to complete.

An online legal administrative assistant certificate program is very similar to an on-campus program, in that the same computer and word processing programs are used in each. You will need a computer, Internet connection and e-mail access to access your online coursework.

Technology RequirementsInternet connection, personal computer, email access
Course TopicsFundamentals of the legal system, legal dictation, office procedures, paralegal profession, legal technology
Program Outcomes Entry-level legal assistant employment; graduates may also pursue certification or associate's degrees
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (paralegals and legal assistants)*
Median Salary (2018) $50,940 (paralegals and legal assistants)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Topics Will I Study?

Courses offered in an online certificate program for aspiring legal administrative assistants focus on business communication and legal terminology. You'll learn how to properly use legal terms, transcribe legal dictation and perfect interactions with others. Topics may cover the fundamentals of the legal system, including relationships between creditors and debtors, employment law and contracts. You may be required to complete an internship at a local law office or court where you'll practice the skills you've learned through your online coursework. Other topics of study may include:

  • Office procedures
  • Law office management
  • Legal technology
  • Paralegal profession

What Can I Do Once I Earn My Certificate?

Once you obtain your online legal administrative assistant certificate, you can seek employment as an entry-level office assistant at law or government offices. If you are already an employed legal administrative assistant, the certificate can help you learn new marketable job skills, as well as continuing education credit. You may also strive for your associate's degree in legal administrative assisting; in many cases, your certificate credits may be transferable. Numerous colleges and universities offer a 2-year associate's degree program in legal assisting, either online or on campus.

If you have at least one year of experience as a legal administrative assistant, you can pursue certification through the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS). The NALS offers a Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) or Accredited Legal Secretary (ALS) designation. Once you have at least five years of experience under your belt, you can earn a Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification through Legal Secretaries International, Inc.