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Legal Office Assistant
Curriculum code 1316

Course Requirements                     Information Management Systems Web site Gainful Employment Information

This program prepares students for positions as administrative assistants in a legal office. Graduates are skilled in general office applications with an emphasis on advanced word processing, legal terminology and legal procedures.

Students acquire skills in preparing legal papers and correspondence such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas and become familiar with legal research. Graduates of this program must possess excellent keyboarding and proofreading skills.

Program prerequisite: Keyboarding skill of 26 net words per minute. Students who need to reach this skill level must enroll in OSA-100, Keyboarding I.

Nature of Work—A legal office assistant furnishes administrative support for one or more attorneys. Performs transcription of legal documents, correspondence, contracts, or briefs. Reviews and edits prepared documents for accuracy. Legal office assistants must possess a high degree of professionalism as well as superior keyboarding, word processing, and language skills. An understanding of legal procedures and services, as well as terminology, is required.

Related Job Title—Legal typist, legal transcriptionist, legal assistant, executive assistant, administrative assistant and secretary.

Employment Outlook—Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 28% between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. Employers are choosing to reduce costs and increase the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring legal assistants to perform tasks formerly carried out by lawyers. Besides new jobs created by employment growth, additional job openings will arise as people leave the occupation. Despite projections of rapid employment growth, competition for jobs should continue as many people seek to go into this profession. Experienced, formally trained legal assistants should have the best employment opportunities.

Earnings—Earnings of legal assistants vary greatly. Salaries depend on education, training, experience, the type and size of employer, and the geographic location of the job. In general, legal assistants working in large law firms or large metropolitan areas earn more than those who work for smaller firms or in less populated regions. In addition to earning a salary, many legal assistants receive bonuses. In May 2008, full-time wage and salary legal assistants had median annual earnings, including bonuses, of $46,120. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,080 and $59,310. The top 10 percent earned more than $73,450, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $29,260. Salaries vary a great deal. Certification may be rewarded by a higher salary. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011

For job and internship listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center Student Services Center S202, at (708) 974-5737. www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.

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