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Legal Secretary Training Cost


How Much Does Legal Secretary Training Cost?

 
low costCertificate Courses: $500-$6,150average costAssociate's Degree: $780-$6,150 Per Yearhigh costOnline Courses: $600-$12,000
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A legal secretary, also known as a legal administrative assistant, performs clerical duties involving legal procedures and documents, including the preparation of summonses, complaints, motions and subpoenas. Most employers prefer completion of a specialized training program that teaches legal terminology. Legal secretaries typically complete a two-year associate's degree program or one-year certificate course.

Typical costs:

  • Some community colleges offer specialized legal secretary training as part of a two-year associate's degree. Full-time tuition and fees for a two-year degree, based on two 15-unit semesters, costs $780 to $6,150 per year. At $26, California has one of the lowest per-unit rates; the Community College of Vermont is at the top of the scale with a per-credit cost of $205 for in-state residents. Santa Monica College[1] in California, for example, offers a two-year associate's degree that combines legal administrative assistant studies with general office studies for a total of $1,560 for in-state residents.
  • One-year (two-semester) certificate courses are also available from community colleges for about $780 to $6,150. Kapi'olani Community College[2] , run by 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. Renton Technical College[3] in Washington offers a 76-credit Legal Secretary/Legal Assistant program approved by The National Association of Legal Secretaries for $5,500 plus $800 for supplies.
  • Shorter legal secretary certificate or diploma courses typically run for a few weeks and cost $500 to $700. Admission typically requires solid typing skills, a basic knowledge of word processing software, and a high school diploma or equivalent. Brooklyn College, run by The City University of New York, offers a six-session Legal Secretary Certificate Program for $575.
  • Online legal secretary training courses cost $600 to $12,000, depending on length and depth of study.Stetson University offers a 20-week basic online legal secretary training course approved by the Association for Legal Professionals for $875. Kaplan University[4] offers a 31-credit online Legal Secretary Certificate course for $371 per unit, or $11,501 plus $100 technology fee.
  • Many state and local chapters of the The Association for Legal Professionals[5] offer basic and advanced legal training courses for legal secretaries. The basic course requires at least 32 hours of classroom study, the advanced course 36 hours. Chapters generally charge $100 to $200 for members and $150 to $250 for nonmembers.
  • Some employers offer on-the-job training for legal secretaries. Check with prospective employers such as law firms, corporate legal departments, and various levels of government.
Related articles: Paralegal Training, Court Reporter Schools, Community College, College

What should be included:
  • According to Legal Secretaries International[6] , legal secretary programs should cover law office practices, computers, word processing, legal terminology and basic law. Keyboard training is also important. Large law firms usually require legal secretaries to demonstrate 65-80 wpm typing; while government entry level jobs will often accept 45-50 wpm.
  • Some training programs also offer job placement assistance and/or internship opportunities.
Additional costs:
  • Legal secretary certification is voluntary. Those who have completed an approved training course or have one year's experience can take an exam with the Association for Legal Professionals to become an Accredited Legal Secretary[7] . The exam costs $50 to $100. The association also offers an advanced Professional Legal Secretary[8] certification for those with three years' experience in the legal field. Certification costs $150 to $200.
  • Legal Secretaries International confers the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist[9] title in specialized areas such as civil trial, real estate, probate, and business law to those who have five years of law-related experience and pass an examination. Certification costs $35 to $75.
  • Books and supplies for associate's degree studies can run about $759 at the City University of New York: Bronx Community College. At California community colleges, books cost about $1,500, according to CaliforniaColleges.edu[10] . Books for diploma or certification courses typically cost $75 to $200.
  • Few community colleges offer on-campus housing. Off-campus housing costs about $10,600 per year for California community colleges[11] and about $8,400 per year at Renton Technical College[12] in Washington.
Discounts:
  • Financial aid is available from most community colleges and universities. Check their specific websites for eligibility and application requirements.
  • The College Board[13] also offers information on financial aid.
  • Student Aid on the Web[14] offers information on available federal financial assistance.
Shopping for legal secretary training:
  • The American Association of Community Colleges[15] offers a national directory of community colleges.
  • The US Department of Education maintains an online College Navigator[16] which locates schools by zip code and degree requirements.
  • Check with The Association for Legal Professionals[17] for approved legal secretary training courses.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.smc.edu/projects/26/Major_Sheets_for_AA_Degree/office_technology_aa.pdf
  2.  kapiolani.hawaii.edu/object/io_1161213900234.html
  3.  www.rtc.edu/Programs/TrainingPrograms/LegalSecretary/
  4.  www.kaplanuniversity.edu/legal-studies/legal-secretary-certificate.aspx
  5.  www.nals.org/?page_id=49
  6.  www.legalsecretaries.org/career_guidance.html
  7.  www.nals.org/?page_id=65
  8.  www.nals.org/?page_id=67
  9.  www.legalsecretaries.org/certify.html
  10.  /secure.californiacolleges.edu/finance/how-much-does-college-cost.asp
  11.  www./secure.californiacolleges.edu/finance/how-much-does-college-cost.asp
  12.  www.rtc.edu/StudentServices/FinancialAid/
  13.  /bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/financial-aid-101/financial-aid-can-he...
  14.  studentaid.ed.gov
  15.  www.aacc.nche.edu/pages/ccfinder.aspx
  16.  nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  17.  www.nals.org/?page_id=49
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