Legal Administrative Assisting (LAA)
South Carolina ONLY
NEW Now Enrolling!
The Legal Administrative Assistant course is designed to provide students with a firm, broad-based understanding of the inner workings of a law firm and training in the administrative tasks and duties necessary to function at a high level once the course and corresponding certification exam haven been completed. Students will learn how to set up legal case files, assist in scheduling consultations with clients, research laws regarding clients’ legal issues, provide comprehensive follow-up to an attorney, and learn the necessary terminology required to succeed within a legal office setting. Students will also receive the general computer skills training needed to work within a law office.
The goal of this course is to develop a fundamental understanding of the analysis and interpretation of law, provide practice in applying those theories, and develop knowledge of the proper procedures associated with lawsuits, filings, research and writing case reviews. Duties of a legal administrative assistant may include:
- Preparing and typing legal documents
- Communicating with the attorney(s) within the practice regarding day to day operations of the client roster
- Coordinating with outside attorneys and clients regarding relevant cases and issues
- Participating in client interviews and consultations
- Document filing in office and in court
- Conducting legal research at the direction of the attorney
- Writing legal analyses for the attorney
- Participating in pre-trial and post-trial preparations with the assistance of the attorney
- Scheduling interviews and consultations and gathers necessary documentation
- Strategy development on how the attorney might approach a case
- Researching possible plea alternatives for the attorney on the client’s behalf
- May be involved in jury selection via review or proposed pool of jurors
- May be asked to visit and photograph crime scenes
- May be asked to assemble visual aids for use at trial
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will earn a Certificate of Completion and a Letter of Recommendation. The average Legal Administrative Assistant salary is about $35,330 per year, and job opportunities are estimated to grow at a rate of 12% according to the United States Department of Labor.
What is a Legal Administrative Assistant?
Legals Administrative Assistants (LAAs) perform essential administrative duties for most law offices. These duties may include transcribing reports, filing and organizing, general office duties, customer service, and assisting lawyers and paralegals as needed. Often, LAAs report to and receive tasks from lawyers and paralegals.
How is that different from a Paralegal?
In general, paralegals have more training than LAAs and have a better understanding of legal terms and theory. While LAAs handle more administrative tasks in cases, paralegals will often handle more legal tasks and will report directly to the lawyer.
Some paralegal duties may include interviewing people involved in the case, preparing case summaries, research and documentation of cases, and general case management. Depending on the size of the firm, some paralegals may also take on administrative and management duties.
While paralegals perform more legal duties than an LAA, they are still considered a non-attorney and cannot perform certain tasks. For example, they can’t give out legal advice or represent a client in court, but they can assist an attorney in court.
If you’re deciding between becoming an LAA or paralegal, keep in mind that many people with paralegal training start off as LAAs. This provides them with more experience in a legal setting.
When are classes offered?
The Legal Administrative Assistant course takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9AM- Noon. The course lasts 8 weeks.
What is required to take the course?
Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Do you offer job placement?
Yes! Job placement assistance is available for all Palmetto School of Career Development graduates. Legal office, law practice and court system personnel recruiters contact our program when looking for qualified Legal Assistant graduates. We also continually contact local attorneys and government legal agencies to notify them of upcoming graduating classes. However, we cannot guarantee anyone a job.
What do graduates earn?
Upon graduation, graduates of the program earn a Certificate of Completion Legal Assistant.