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Legal Secretary (Assistant) (BPLS-01)


Course Description

Looking for a challenge? Do you like research and staying organized? Do you enjoy the excitement of a busy office? If so, then you should consider becoming a legal assistant or legal secretary. Legal assistants/secretaries perform clerical duties at law firms and other legal offices. Unlike regular assistants/secretaries, legal assistants require extensive knowledge of legal proceedings and documentation. They may do factual or legal research at all levels of a case and will often organize meetings, appointments and dates for attorneys. Some of the duties of a legal assistants/secretary include overseeing all clerical tasks that are necessary for keeping a law firm running efficiently, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). A legal assistant works under general supervision to perform administrative and support functions for an attorney or judge.

After completing this course you should be able to:

• Define the job description of a legal assistant/secretary
• Identify correct billing & accounting methods
• Define terminology of the court
• Recognize types of contracts & torts
• Identify types of business partnerships
• Define types of wills & trusts


Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 1
The Law Office
• The Lawyer’s Assistant
• The Career of a Lawyer’s Assistant
• NALS Certification
• Ethical Considerations
• Maintaining Integrity
• Getting to Know the Law Office
• Client Relations
• Dealing with Incoming & Outgoing Mail
• File Management
• Computers in the Law Office
Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 2
Billing, Accounting & Written Communication
• Understanding Billing
• Time & Cost Entries
• Handling the Firm’s Checking Account
• Written Communication
• The Basics of English Grammar
• Review of Sentence Structure
• Punctuation & Capitalization
• Abbreviations & Number Usage
• Writing Letters, Memos, & Messages
• Parts of a Business Letter
Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 3
Preparation of Legal Documents
• Basic Preparation of a Legal Document
• Legal Citations
• Legal Research & the Law Library
• Computer-assisted Legal Research
• History of the Law
• The American Judicial System
• Dual System of Courts
• Terminology of the Court
• Court Officers
• Administrative Agencies
Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 4
Litigation, Contracts, Torts, & Criminal Law
• Opening the Litigation File
• Delivery of Complaint or Petition to the Court
• Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
• Motions Prior to Trail & Trial
• Understanding Contract Law
• The Essential Elements of a Contract
• Negligence versus Strict Liability
• Criminal Law & Procedure
• Jurisdictional Differences
• Misdemeanor & Felony Cases
Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 5
Family, Business, & Real Estate Law
• Family Law
• Marriage, Annulment, & Divorce
• Child Custody & Support Agreements
• Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
• Business Organizations & the Law
• Types of Corporations
• Types of Partnerships
• Real Estate Law
• Elements of Real Estate Law
• Real Estate in Litigation
Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 6
Estate Planning & Guardianship Plus Bankruptcy Law
• An Introduction to Estate Planning
• Characteristics of a Will
• Types of Wills
• Types of Trusts & Funding a Trust
• Elder Law
• The Uniform Probate Code
• Functions of Estate Administration
• Guardianships or Conservatorships
• Understanding Bankruptcy
• Dischargeable & Nondischargeable Debts


12 months




There are no specific prerequisites for this course. Students will need access to both a computer and the internet. Students should have basic keyboarding and computer skills, and be comfortable navigating the internet.

The intended audience for this program is individuals that are seeking to enhance their skills in the field as a Legal Secretary or Legal Assistant.


Upon successful completion of our Legal Assistant/ Legal Secretary course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position as a Legal Assistant or Legal Secretary in a Law office setting and will be prepared, in part, to sit for the NALS national certification exam to become an Accredited Legal Professional (ALP). This exam also requires that you have one year of general office experience.




This class supported by an Educational Mentor. Our educational mentors have worked or are working in the subject they mentor. Educational Mentors reviews student work, student progress, and interacts with students as needed. They respond to any questions or concerns you might have, as well as encouraging and motivating you to succeed.


Internet Access
• Broadband or high-speed internet access is required. Broadband includes DSL, cable, and wireless connections.
• Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Moodle pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.

• Windows hardware configurations and processors are acceptable
• Mac computers MUST have Microsoft Window Operating Systems over Bootcamp (Bootcamp is a free download from Apple's website)
• 1 GB RAM minimum recommended
• Operating Systems
-Windows XP, Vista or 7 and Mac OS X 10 or higher with Windows
• Web Browsers
-Google Chrome is highly recommended
-Internet Explorer is not recommended as it may not display certain menus and links
• Cookies MUST be enabled
• Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
• Kindle Reader App
• Adobe PDF Reader
• Media Plug-ins (These may be required depending on your course media.)
• Adobe Flash Player
• Adobe Acrobat Reader, Apple Quicktime, Windows Media Player, &/or Real Player
• PowerPoint Viewer

The following textbooks will be provided to each student upon registration:

• Basic Manual for the Lawyer’s Assistant by NALS

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