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Legal & Law Programs ►Legal Transcription Specialist Certificate Program




This training program combines a two course training track:

  • Legal Secretary
  • Legal Transcription

Legal transcription has come into the public view recently being recognized for its efficient and professional influence on legal records and is steadily becoming a popular trend in the legal field. Legal Transcriptionists use verbatim methods to store, recover, and record legal information, and pre-trail and trial proceedings. They use prerecorded information, and written material to compile reports. Legal transcriptionists transcribe material that has been dictated or recorded in courtrooms, closed hearings, law offices, or through personal interviews. They accurately document all testimony, pleadings, interrogations, meeting minutes, and hearings. Legal secretaries perform clerical duties at law firms and other legal offices. Unlike regular secretaries, legal secretaries 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. Law firms will continue to be the largest employers of paralegals, but many large corporations are increasing their in-house legal departments to cut costs.


The Job Outlook

Employment of legal assistants is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As employers try to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of legal services, they are expected to hire more paralegals and legal assistants. Following the cutbacks experienced during the recent recession, some law firms are rebuilding their support staff by hiring paralegals. Paralegals can be a less costly alternative to lawyers and perform a wider variety of duties, including tasks once done by lawyers. This will cause an increase in demand for paralegals and legal assistants.


Legal Assistant / Legal Secretary (270 Hours)


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. Our Legal Assistant/Legal Secretary course will introduce the basic duties of the job and the knowledge necessary to be successful in the field.


After completing this course you should be able to:

  • Define the job description of a legal assistant/secretary
  • Identify correct billing & accounting methods
  • Recognize types of contracts and torts and how to prepare legal documents
  • List the basics of business partnerships, family law and litigation
  • Recall the principles of estate planning and guardianship


Prerequisite & Recommendation: Student needs to have general secretarial training or experience. We
highly recommend that the student also take a course in Understanding the Law to have a very solid
background in the legal system.

Legal Transcription (270 Hours)


Legal transcription has come into the public view recently being recognized for its efficient and professional influence on legal records and is steadily becoming a popular trend in the legal field. Legal Transcriptionists use verbatim methods to store, recover, and record legal information, and pre-trail and trial proceedings. They use prerecorded information, and written material to compile reports. Legal transcriptionists transcribe material that has been dictated or recorded in courtrooms, closed hearings, law offices, or through personal interviews. They accurately document all testimony, pleadings, interrogations, meeting minutes, and hearings.


This Legal Transcription course teaches the most current practices for transcribing and revising any legal document with correct formatting, punctuation, and spelling.

  • Formatting and terminology skills using illustrations of legal documents.
  • Real-world projects dictated on accompanying CD using both national and international accents and dialects.
  • Discussion of legal office procedures related to legal transcription activities.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Type quickly and correctly
  • Identify the transcription format for civil litigation
  • Identify the transcription format for probates
  • Identify the transcription format for family law
  • Identify the transcription format for legal instruments
  • Identify the transcription format for bankruptcy and the appellate procedure

Prerequisite: Understanding the Law course or Legal Secretary training.


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 Firm
  • Client Relations
  • Job Requirements
  • Dealing with Incoming and Outgoing Mail
  • File Management

Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 2

Computers, Billing and Basic Accounting Procedures

  • Computers in the Law Office
  • Operating Systems
  • Document Management
  • Understanding Billing
  • Debits and Credits
  • Time Entries
  • Cost Entries
  • Handling the Firm's Checking Account
  • Payroll
  • Computing Interest

Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 3

Written Communication

  • The Basics of English Grammar
  • Review of Sentence Structure
  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Abbreviations
  • Number Usage
  • Word Division
  • Writing Letters, Memos, and Messages
  • Parts of a Business Letter
  • Forms of Address

Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 4

Legal Documents, Law Library and The Courts

  • Preparing Legal Documents
  • Legal Citations
  • Legal Research
  • Hierarchy of Legal Authority
  • Legal Texts
  • History of the Law
  • The American Judicial System
  • Dual System of Courts
  • Terminology of the Court
  • Court Officers

Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 5

Administrative Agencies and Litigation

  • Federal and State Agencies
  • Opening the Litigation File
  • Before the Suit is Filed
  • Pleadings
  • Request for Jury Trial
  • Mediations
  • Stipulations
  • Trial Notebooks
  • Settlement
  • Appeals
  • Billing

Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 6

Contracts, Torts and Criminal Law Procedures

  • The Statute of Frauds
  • Types of Contracts
  • Discharge of Contracts
  • Kinds of Torts
  • Initial Client Interview
  • Sources of Criminal Law
  • Classes of Crime
  • Misdemeanor Cases
  • Felony Cases
  • Post-trial Proceedings

Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 7

Family Law and Business Organizations

  • Influence of Uniform Acts
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Procedures of Termination of Marriage
  • Uncontested Proceedings
  • Corporations
  • Corporate Structure and Operation
  • Incorporation Process
  • Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Company

Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 8

Real Estate and Estate Planning

  • History of Real Estate Law
  • Evidence of Title to Real Estate
  • Instruments of Conveyance
  • The Real Estate Transaction
  • Preparation of Deeds
  • Terminology in Estate Planning
  • Characteristics of a Will
  • Types of Wills
  • Preparation of Wills

Legal Secretary / Legal Assistant Module 9

Guardianships and Bankruptcy

  • The Uniform Probate Code
  • Functions of Estate Administration
  • Identification of Assets
  • Personal Representative
  • Probate Procedures
  • The Bankruptcy Code
  • Bankruptcy Courts and Jurisdiction
  • Filing a Bankruptcy
  • The Debtor’s Estate
  • Discharge of Debts

Legal Transcription Module 1

Typing Practice & Improvement

  • Pre-Test Your Typing Ability
  • Finger Positioning Exercises
  • Typing Practice Games
  • Typing Progress Tracking
  • Improve Your Typing Skills
  • Increase Your Typing Speed

Legal Transcription Module 2

Civil Litigation Transcription

  • Initiating a Lawsuit
  • Summons, Caption & Complaint
  • Answering a Lawsuit
  • Calculating Time
  • Keeping a Tickler System
  • Motion to Dismiss
  • Answer, Counterclaim, & Cross-Complaint
  • Discovery / Judgment
  • Interrogatories
  • Request for Admissions
  • Preparing Correspondence

Legal Transcription Module 3

Probate Practice Transcription

  • Last Will & Testament
  • Self-Proving Affidavit
  • Living Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Probate Procedure
  • Representative’s Oath
  • Notification of Heirs
  • Notice to Creditors
  • Tax Reports
  • Guardianships
  • Conservatorships
  • Name Changes

Legal Transcription Module 4

Family Law Transcription

  • Termination of Marriage
  • Grounds for Divorce
  • Types of Divorces
  • Complaint or Petition
  • Final Decree
  • Marital Dissolution Agreement
  • Adoptions and Paternity
  • Petition for Adoption
  • Adoption Decrees
  • Types of Adoption
  • Motion & Order for a Blood Test
  • Order of Paternity & Support

Legal Transcription Module 5

Legal Instruments Transcription

  • Contract & Leases
  • Partnership Agreements
  • Corporations and Limited Liability Companies
  • Reservation of a Corporate Name
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws & Minutes of First Meetings
  • Stock Certificates
  • Application for Employer Identification Number
  • Real Estate
  • Warranty Deed
  • Deed of Trust
  • Real Estate Closing
  • Quitclaim Deed

Legal Transcription Module 6

Bankruptcy & Appellate Procedure Transcription

  • Bankruptcy
  • Voluntary Petition
  • Chapter 7
  • Summary of Schedules
  • Typing Citations
  • Citing Primary & Secondary Materials
  • Citing & Formatting Quotations
  • Preparing an Appellate Brief
  • Rules of Appellate Procedure
  • Part of a Brief

Certification:


Legal Assistant / Legal Secretary (150 Hours)

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.


Legal Transcription (130 Hours)

Upon successful completion of our Legal Transcription course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position as a Legal Transcriptionist and will be prepared, in part, for the AAERT national certification exam to become a Certified Electronic Transcriber (CET).


Required Materials

  • Basic Manual for the Lawyer’s Assistant by NALS
  • Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 18 Software
  • Digital Transcription Equipment: Headset, Foot Pedal and Software>




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