Certified Legal Secretary

The legal profession has a range of career opportunities available with over 300,000 positions today and is projected to grow to 325,000 by 2026. If you're ready to enter the legal profession and develop a great career that will be in-demand long into the future, this Certified Legal Secretary course can help by providing foundational knowledge over a broad range of legal topics to help prepare you for the NALS Accredited Legal Professional exam.

The Certified Legal Secretary course will help...

12 Months / 444 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

University of the District of Columbia

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Course code: GES2106

What you will learn

  • Learn useful and practical office and administrative skills.
  • Gain legal research and writing skills.
  • Gain exposure to a broad range of law topics and fields.

How you will benefit

  • Gain the foundational knowledge required to enter the legal profession.
  • Prepare for the NALS Accredited Legal Professional exam.

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 12 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 444 course hours
  1. Ethics for Paralegals
    1. Ethics for paralegals
    2. Codes that apply to legal professionals
    3. Specific duties that a paralegal can perform according to the ABA
    4. Confidentiality in your role as a paralegal
    5. What is considered a conflict of interest in your role as a paralegal
    6. Communications with the "other side"
    7. Paralegal disclosure
    8. Model Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility for a paralegal.
  2. Law Office Management
    1. Duties you may have as a law office professional
    2. Accounting and billing in the law office
    3. Files and record management in the law office
    4. Technology used in the law office
    5. Types of files encountered in the law office
  3. Introduction to Accounting
    1. Overview of Accounting
    2. Methods of Accounting
    3. The Accounting Cycle
    4. Major account groupings
    5. The Accounting Cycle
  4. Grammar Essentials
    1. Components of Writing
    2. The components of a sentence
    3. Different types of sentences
    4. Identifying faulty sentences
    5. Using punctuation correctly
    6. Using the correct verb tense in your writing
    7. The function of a paragraph
    8. Using cause and effect in your writing
  5. Legal Writing
    1. Importance of legal writing in the legal field
    2. Goal of legal writing
    3. Drafting documents in legal writing
    4. Constructing effective sentences in legal writing
    5. Using defined terms in legal writing
    6. Word usage in legal writing
    7. Redundancies
    8. Commonly misused words in legal writing
    9. Reviewing legal documents
    10. Using FIRAC in legal analysis
  6. Legal Research and The Law Library
    1. Introduction
    2. Authorities of Law
    3. FIRAC
    4. Statutory and Case Law
    5. Resources
    6. Computerized Legal Research
    7. Citations and Shepardizing
    8. Summary
  7. Introduction to the Legal System
    1. Introduction to terminology used in the legal system
    2. Structure of the government
    3. Judicial system
    4. Jurisdiction in the legal system
    5. Using FIRAC to read a case
  8. Administrative Law
    1. Introduction to Administration Law
    2. Administrative Agencies
    3. Administrative Procedures Act
    4. Political Control over Agencies
    5. Rule Making and Right to a Court Review
    6. Examples of Administrative Agencies
  9. Civil Litigation
    1. Initial client overview
    2. In the investigation stage, the paralegal needs to examine and inquire into the claim
    3. In pretrial litigation, the initial preparation of pleadings to initiate a lawsuit
    4. The settlement means an agreement has been reached before the trial
    5. The order of the trial/appeal
  10. Contracts
    1. Case Law and FIRAC
    2. Contracts
    3. Contract Acceptance
    4. Consideration.
    5. Enforcement
    6. Contractual Capacity
    7. Defenses
    8. Third-Party Beneficiaries
    9. Breach
  11. Torts
    1. Types of Torts
    2. Torts to Property
    3. Defenses
    4. Cause of action
    5. Defense of Negligence
    6. Strict Liability
  12. Criminal Law and Procedure
    1. Introduction
    2. Intent
    3. Crimes-Battery
    4. Crimes-Felony
    5. Elements of the crime
    6. Criminal capacity
    7. Justification
    8. Summary
  13. Family Law Outline
    1. Marriage
    2. Divorce and Separation
    3. Child Custody
    4. Child Support
    5. Spousal Support
    6. Adoption
    7. Division of Property
    8. Summary
  14. Business Entity Formation
    1. Choice of entity
    2. Sole proprietorship is an entity that is owned by one person
    3. A partnership requires two or individuals operating the partnership
    4. A corporation comes into existence through the filing of Articles of Incorporation
    5. Limited Liability Company is a type of entity that is a cross between a corporation and a partnership
  15. Real Estate Law
    1. Real estate law
    2. Importance of contracts in real estate law
    3. Deeds and titles
    4. Lender rights and leases
    5. Real estate development and easements
  16. Probate Law and Estate Planning
    1. Introduction to estate planning
    2. Components of a will
    3. Execution of a will
    4. Trusts in estate planning
  17. Bankruptcy Law
    1. Chapter 7 bankruptcy
    2. Chapter 11 bankruptcy
    3. Chapter 13 bankruptcy
    4. The bankruptcy process
    5. The perspectives of bankruptcy

Katherine Squires Pang

Katherine Squires Pang, J.D., LL.M., M.Ed has practiced law with since 1983. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Management at the University of Texas, Dallas, and has been an adjunct faculty member of many universities, including New York University and UC Irvine. She received her B.A. in 1980 from Clark University, her J.D. from the University of Dayton Law School in 1982, her LL.M in Taxation from Georgetown University Law School in 1983, and her M.Ed from the University of Texas in 2001.


While there are no prerequisites to complete this course, it is designed to prepare you to pass the ALP exam. In order to sit for the exam, students need to meet the exam eligibility requirements independent of this course.

To sit for the ALP exam, you must have completed one of the following:

  • Completion of an accredited business/legal course
  • Completion of a NALS Legal Training Course
  • One year of general office experience


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 7 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox is preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Office or equivalent (not included in enrollment).
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • Accounting for Managers
  • Bookkeeping Made Simple

Please note: You will receive a digital book if the physical book is on backorder.

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

Yes. You will be prepared for the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) Exam offered by NALS The Association for Legal Professionals. In order to sit for the exam, students need to meet the exam eligibility requirements independent of our online program.

  • Completion of an accredited business/legal course,
  • Completion of a NALS Legal Training Course, or
  • One year of general office experience

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive twelve (12) months to complete the course.

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact the student advising team to see what options you may have available to work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

The course instructor will be available by email to answer any questions and provide feedback on your performance. Occasionally, your course may be supported by a team of industry experts. You will also receive support from the student advising team.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us" form.