The requirements for this program of study are effective beginning the semester shown above. If you began working on this program before the effective semester, you may not be affected by the changes. Consult with the program contact person or the department chair to determine your eligibility to complete the program under previous requirements.
The Legal Office Specialist Certificate of Achievement prepares the student for employment in a private law office as well as legal departments of business firms, banks, insurance companies, financial institutions, and many government agencies including the court system.
This certificate is the advanced level of the Legal Office program. Students who have completed the Legal Office Support Completion Certificate will have fulfilled a portion of the Legal Office Specialist Certificate of Achievement. Completion of the Legal Office Specialist Certificate of Achievement program also provides skills appropriate for further training as a paralegal.
The skills needed of office professionals (i.e., secretary, administrative assistant, office assistant, etc.) in other industries are also required in legal related fields. This program encompasses the integration of 21st Century workforce skills needed of all office professionals emphasizing communication, teamwork, project management, systems development, and problem-solving. This program also provides a foundation in legal procedures and document processing. Legal procedure courses are taught by professionals currently working in the legal field. Job titles may include law office receptionist, file clerk, legal secretary, word document processor, and law office assistant.
While office needs vary, typical duties include maintaining accurate records, keyboarding legal documents, implementing legal procedures, managing cases, and coordinating day-to-day operation of the office. Professionalism is emphasized and education/training are promoted regularly through numerous organizations.
A unique feature of the Legal Office Specialist program is the internship which provides an opportunity to use acquired skills in an office environment and gain experience in the profession before completing the program.
Employers generally report that it is moderately difficult to find inexperienced but qualified applicants, and very difficult to find qualified applicants with prior experience. This indicates a good outlook for job seekers without prior experience, and a very good outlook for those who are fully experienced. Both Sonoma County Legal Secretaries Association and Legal Secretaries Incorporated http://www.lsi.org offer scholarships to students pursuing careers in this occupational area.
More information about the Business Administration programs can be found at the Business Administration Department website.