How Much Does Legal Secretary Training Cost?

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$ Certificate Courses: $500-$6,150 $ $ Associate's Degree: $780-$6,150 Per Year $ $ $ Online Courses: $600-$12,000

A legal administrative assistant, also known as a legal secretary, is in charge of the clerical duties that cover legal procedures and documents, such as preparation of summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas.

Many of the employers prefer to go on a specialized training program that teaches legal terminology.

The legal secretaries usually complete an associate’s degree program for two-years or attend a one-year certificate course.

Typical Costs

Some of the community colleges provide specialized legal secretary training, which is part of a two-year associate’s degree.

The two-year degree full-time tuition and fees are based on two 15-unit semesters for the sum of  $780 to $6,150 annually.

California has one of the lowest per-unit rates – $26; while the Community College of Vermont requires $205 for in-state residents.

A two-year associate’s degree that combines legal administrative assistant studies with general office studies at Santa Monica College in California costs $1,560 for in-state residents.

Two-semester, one-year certificate courses are available from community colleges for about $780 to $6,150.

For example, Kapi’olani Community College, part of the University of Hawaii, offers a Certificate of Completion in Legal Secretary course for $948 per semester for residents, $3,264 per semester for non-residents.

At the same time, Renton Technical College in Washington provides a 76-credit Legal Assistant and Legal Secretary program approved by The National Association of Legal Secretaries for $5,500 plus $800 for supplies.

The diploma courses and the shorter legal secretary certificate usually run for a few weeks and cost $500 to $700.

To get admitted, the student needs to have a basic knowledge of word processing software, solid typing skills, and a high school diploma or equivalent.

The City University of New York runs Brooklyn College offers a six-session Legal Secretary Certificate Program for $575.

The legal secretary training online courses are at the price of $600 to $12,000, based on the length and depth of the study.

For instance, Stetson University offers a 20-week basic online legal secretary training course for $875, which is approved by the Association for Legal Professionals.

At the same time, Kaplan University provides a Legal Secretary Certificate online course for $371 per unit, or $11,501 plus $100 technology fee.

The Association for Legal Professionals in many state and local chapters provides basic and advanced legal training courses for legal secretaries.

The main course is a classroom study of 32 hours, while the advanced course is 36 hours, and the chapters generally charge $100 to $200 for members and $150 to $250 for nonmembers.

Certain employers offer training on-the-job for legal secretaries, and the information is provided by possible employers such as law firms, corporate legal departments, and various levels of government.

What Is Included

  • Legal Secretaries International states that the legal secretary programs have to cover legal terminology, law office practices, and basic law, computers, and word processing.
  • Keyboard training is needed as well.
  • Some large law companies need legal secretaries to demonstrate 65-80 wpm typing; while government entry-level jobs usually accept 45-50 wpm.
  • Certain training programs further offer job placement assistance and internship opportunities.

Additional Costs

Being voluntary, the legal secretary certification means that the people who have one year’s experience or have completed the training course can take an exam with the Association for Legal Professionals to become an Accredited Legal Secretary which costs $50 to $100.

Professional Legal Secretary certification is also offered by the association for those that have three years’ experience in the legal field, and the certification costs $150 to $200.

The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist title in certain areas such as civil trial and real estate, probate and business law is granted to those who have five years of law-related experience and pass an examination and the certification costs $35 to $75.

At the City University of New York: Bronx Community College, the books and supplies for associate’s degree studies can run at approx. $759

According to CaliforniaColleges.edu, at California community colleges, books cost about $1,500, while books for diploma or certification courses typically cost $75 to $200.

Few community colleges offer housing on-campus, while the housing off-campus costs about $10,600 per year for California community colleges and about $8,400 per year at Renton Technical College in Washington.

Discounts

  • Financial aid is offered by many of the community colleges and universities and is presented on their websites for eligibility and application requirements.
  • Information on financial aid is offered by The College Board.
  • Information on the available federal financial assistance is offered by Student Aid on the Web.

Shopping For Legal Secretary Training

  • A national directory of community colleges is offered by The American Association of Community Colleges.
  • An online College Navigator is offered by The US Department of Education which locates schools by zip code and degree requirements.
  • For approved legal secretary training courses, try The Association for Legal Professionals.

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