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Legal Secretary Certificate Programs

A legal secretary certificate program can train you to increase your typing speed and prepare legal documents. Continue reading to find out how you can develop skills in client relations and law-related computer applications.

What Does a Legal Secretary Certificate Program Entail?

A legal secretary certificate program usually takes about a semester to complete. Some consist of a single course that covers the broad skill set used for this profession, while others separate tasks into individual courses or modules. Although these programs offer technical and professional training, you might need to meet typing speed requirements prior to enrolling. Legal secretary training courses teach you about office procedures unique to a legal office. During your program, you could learn how to prepare legal documents, communicate with clients and lawyers, interview potential clients and follow court system procedures.

PrerequisitesA minimum typing speed may be required
Common CoursesKeyboarding, transcription, proper legal communication, litigation procedures, maintaining client relations; real-world training opportunities sometimes offered
Program Outcomes Entry-level reception or secretarial work; graduates can also pursue professional certification or additional education
Median Salary (2018)$46,360* (for legal secretaries)
Job Outlook (2016-26)-19%* (for all legal secretaries)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Can I Expect?

The courses in a legal secretary certificate program teach you how to operate office equipment and computer applications related to a law office. You also learn about maintaining client relations, using legal terminology and upholding ethical standards. Your program could cover topics in keyboarding, transcription, document management and proper business or legal communication. Many programs teach you how to become proficient in writing discovery documents, letters, memos, pleadings and motions.

You could also obtain a general understanding of litigation procedures, legal research, business law, estate planning, criminal law or insurance law. These topics could be offered as electives. Some programs are offered online, allowing you to keep your current job while you study. A few longer, traditional programs also allow you to gain practical experience through a brief work co-op.

What Can I Do With My Education?

If you complete a legal secretary certificate program, you could qualify for entry-level secretarial or reception positions within a law office or advance to an office management or head legal secretary position. Additionally, you can continue your education in paralegal studies through certificate and degree programs offered at several schools.

Job duties can include keeping track of office records, processing legal fees, maintaining office schedules, helping lawyers find applicable research resources and assisting with client interviews. Although certification might not be required, the Association for Legal Professionals offers the Professional Legal Secretary designation.