Legal Executive Assistant Associate Degree

As a legal executive assistant, you help lawyers accomplish their daily tasks and ensure the efficient operation of a legal practice. In addition to clerical office duties, your responsibilities may include such tasks as preparing legal documents, writing transcripts and researching cases. Learn what a legal executive assistant degree involves, how you might earn an associate's degree that can qualify you to become a legal executive assistant, program details, and future opportunities. Schools offering Legal Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Legal Executive Assistant Associate's Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in the process of earning your associate's degree, you undergo much of the same training that is received by an office administrative assistant ( However, your education will include courses dealing specifically with the functions of a legal office. The fact that you're an executive assistant indicates that your duties correspond with the highest level of responsibilities in the office. It should be noted that an associate's degree as a legal administrative assistant does not necessarily qualify you for a position as a paralegal or legal assistant. The position of a legal executive assistant is more comparable to that of a legal secretary.

Common CoursesCorporate and real estate law, civil and criminal law, legal transcription, legal research, document processing
Online AvailabilityFull and partial, may require in-person internship
Median Salary (2014) $42,770 (for all legal secretaries)*, $51,270 (for all executive administrative assistants)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Program Details?

A program can take you 18-24 months to complete and may consist of 64-105 credits. Completion of a program usually leads to an Associate of Applied Science in an area such as legal administrative assistant or legal studies. Typical courses you might encounter in a program include corporate and real estate law, civil and criminal law, written and oral communication, family law, legal office management, legal terminology, legal transcription, legal research and document processing.

Often you have the opportunity to fulfill an internship at a school-partnered law office or legal department. Depending on the school, the internship may be paid or unpaid.

Graduation can prepare you for a position as a legal secretary or executive assistant in a law office. However, you may also be able to secure a position with the courts, lending institution, government offices or the legal department of a business or corporation. With 1-3 years of work experience, you may qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS). Common certifications are accredited legal secretary (ALS) or professional legal secretary (PLS)

What Sort of Online I Opportunities Do I Have?

Schools may offer you the opportunity to pursue a program either entirely or partially online. Completely online programs require no in-person participation. All courses are completed from an off-campus location via a course management system such as Blackboard. However, if an online program includes an internship, you must complete it in person. In lieu of an internship, some schools allow you to complete a capstone project, reflecting your level of competence and understanding of the program. Schools sometimes allow you to blend delivery formats within the same program. In this system, you complete part of your courses online and part on campus.

Professional organizations such as the NALS and the Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals (AEAP) offer online individual courses. You may be able to use some of these for professional development or for continuing education credits, in order to keep your certification up-to-date.

What Are Some Employment Projections?

The BLS projected employment opportunities for administrative assistants would increase by 3% from 2014-2024, but that legal secretaries and executive administrative assistants would both experience negative growth, of -4% and -6% respectively. The decrease in each area may be due other employees taking on some of the tasks formerly done by legal and executive administrative assistants. In 2014, the BLS determined the median annual wage for legal secretaries to be $42,770, while executive administrative assistants earned $51,270.

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:

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