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The Legal Secretary Program is an evening curriculum designed to prepare currently employed secretaries and recent secretarial graduates with specialized office training in the legal environment. The program will not involve training in the traditional secretarial skills, since the students are to obtain these basic skills from sources other than the Legal Secretary program. The training will emphasize mastery of computer applications and formats applicable to the legal office, familiarity with legal office theory and procedure, and actual work experience through cooperative education in a law office setting.
Legal secretaries, under the supervision on an attorney, may:
- Prepare initial drafts of common legal documents, such as complaints, motions, subpoenas, and summonses
- Review law journals and assist with legal research
- Process legal fees
- Record trial dates and schedule witnesses
- Maintain office records and calendars
- Coordinate office functions
Successful legal secretaries have:
- above average oral and written communication skills
- above average ability to recognize details in written materials
- the ability to assume responsibility
- good eye-hand coordination and finger dexterity
- good organizational skills and judgment
- the ability to work under pressure and adapt to changing priorities
- the ability to work independently as well as with others
Legal secretary students are eligible to sit for the ALS, a basic certification for legal professionals. Graduates with additional legal work experience may sit for the PLS, an advanced certification for legal professionals. Both national certifications are sponsored by NALS: The Association for Legal Professionals. Although certification is not a requirement, these designations demonstrate dedication to professionalism and may enhance employment or advancement opportunities.