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ed2go Legal Online Legal Studies Legal Secretary
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Legal Secretary

Attorneys rely on sharp, motivated legal secretaries to help them start a practice or keep a thriving practice competitive. In this course, you’ll learn all the skills you need to enter the fast-paced world of the legal secretary. The demand for this profession is growing faster than average, and attorneys are consistently on the lookout for qualified, professional legal secretaries to augment their practices.

In these lessons, you’ll master everything from the basics of legal terminology and procedure to practice management tasks, accounting, and QuickBooks skills. Along the way, you’ll find out just what it’s like to work in this fascinating and growing field. By the time you’ve completed this course, you’ll possess the knowledge necessary to successfully pass the National Association of Legal Professionals (NALS) Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) exam. 

6 Months / 350 Course Hrs
Open enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

Central Michigan University

Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website. Change School

Learning Method


Self-Paced. Study on your own schedule

Contact Us for additional information

Legal Secretary

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Details + Objectives

Course Code: GES223

What You Will Learn
  • Manage the front end of a legal office
  • Attend to accounting and QuickBooks details for attorneys
  • Use legal terminology effectively
  • Complete basic legal writing tasks
  • Manage projects in legal offices
  • Communicate persuasively and effectively
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 350 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Jump-start your career as a legal secretary in a law office, law firm, non-profit agency, or governmental agency
  • Possess the knowledge necessary to successfully pass the National Association of Legal Professionals (NALS) Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) exam
  • Develop a professional vocabulary that will allow you to communicate efficiently with legal professionals


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Law Office Management and Legal Terminology

Understand the duties you will have as a legal secretary and the fundamental workings of a law office. Learn the terminology you will need to communicate effectively in the field.

Introduction to the Legal System

Master an understanding of the structure of the government, the workings of the judicial system, and who has jurisdiction in various segments of the legal system.

Legal Writing

Learn the importance of legal writing in the legal field. Understand how to draft documents, construct effective sentences, and proper word usage in legal writing.

Introduction to Accounting

Understand the fundamentals of legal accounting procedures. Learn best bookkeeping techniques and understand how to document finances.

Introduction to Excel and QuickBooks

Understand how to efficiently use Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks. These programs will be used frequently as a legal secretary, so the course will take you through basic and advanced techniques.

Persuasive Communication and Project Management

Develop persuasive and effective communication skills you can use to interact with peers, employers, and clients. Understand best project management techniques and how they pertain to your role as a legal secretary.


Introduction to Legal Secretary Program

I.   Overview of the Market, skills and responsibilities

Law Office Management

I.     Duties you may have as a law office professional

A.       Types of systems used for calendaring

II.     Accounting and billing in the law office

III.     Files and record management in the law office

A.       Ethics and file management

IV.     Technology used in the law office

A.       NFPA and ethical considerations

B.       Life cycle of a file

V.     Types of files encountered in the law office

Legal Terminology

I.     General legal terms that fall in multiple areas of law

II.     Contract legal terminology

III.     Litigation legal terminology

IV.     Real Estate legal terminology

V.     Probate/Estate legal terminology

VI.     Intellectual Property legal terminology

VII.     Bankruptcy legal terminology

Introduction to the Legal System

I.  Introduction to terminology used in the legal system

II.   Structure of the government

III.   Judicial system

A. Federal judicial system

B. State court system

C. Local court system

IV.   Jurisdiction in the legal system

V.   Using FIRAC to read a case

Legal Writing

I.  Importance of legal writing in the legal field

II.   Goal of legal writing

III.   Drafting documents in legal writing

IV.   Constructing effective sentences in legal writing

A.       Precision and simplicity

B.       Sound structure

C.       Using active voice

V.   Using defined terms in legal writing

VI.   Word usage in legal writing

VII.  Redundancies

VIII.  Commonly misused words in legal writing

IX.   Reviewing legal documents

X.   Using FIRAC in legal analysis

Introduction to Accounting

I.     Overview of Accounting

A.       Importance of bookkeeping

B.       The Accounting Cycle

C.       Manual Bookkeeping

D.       When to start bookkeeping

II.     Methods of Accounting

A.       Cash accounting

B.       Accrual accounting

III.     The Accounting Cycle

A.       Transaction

B.       Journal

C.       T-Accounts

D.       Debit/Credit

E.       Double-entry system

F.        Normal account balances

IV.     Major account groupings

A.       Assets

B.       Liabilities

C.       Owner's equity

D.       The accounting equation

E.       Income

F.        Expenses

V.     The Accounting Cycle

A.       Trial balance

B.       Adjusting entries and balance

C.       Financial statements

D.       Closing the books

Introduction to Excel

I.     The environment of Excel

A.       Spreadsheet

B.       Worksheet environment

C.       Cells

D.       Menu bar

E.       Setting up a worksheet in Excel

II.     Formatting a worksheet to enhance the appearance of your information

A.       Formatting cells

III.     Tips for working with data in Excel

A.       Entering in your data

B.       How to set up and modify your data

IV.     Navigating and printing your worksheet

A.       Shortcuts you can use to navigate your spreadsheet effectively

B.       Options for printing in Excel

V.     Tips for managing large worksheets in Excel

A.       Formatting and naming worksheet tabs

B.       Managing and viewing large workbooks

VI.     Using Excel in Accounting

A.       Using Excel and QuickBooks in the Accounting process

B.       Using Excel for project management

Introduction to QuickBooks

I.     Exploring QuickBooks

A.       Employee center

B.       Customer center

C.       Vendor center

D.       Banking center

II.     How to perform basic banking activities in the banking center

A.       Write a check

B.       Record a deposit

C.       Use bank account registers

D.       Enter hand written checks

E.       Transfer money between accounts

F.        Reconcile

III.     The customer center holds the customer information and transaction activities

A.       Job estimates

B.       Sales

C.       Invoices

D.       Record payments

E.       Record credits

IV.     Formatting invoices and processing sale forms

V.     Setting up the chart of accounts in QuickBooks

VI.     Reports that can be run in the report center of QuickBooks

VII.     Maintaining your inventory in QuickBooks

VIII.     Time tracking in QuickBooks

IX.     Creating job estimates in QuickBooks

A.       Create jobs

B.       Create multiple estimates

C.       Transform estimates into invoices

D.       Update and modify current job status

X.     Confirming accuracy of the company records in QuickBooks

A.       The chart of accounts

B.       Customer list

C.       Vendor list

D.       Job list

E.       Employee list

Persuasive Communication

I.       Fundamentals of communication

A.       Non-verbal communication

II.        The importance of knowing the audience in persuasive communication

A.       Personality profiling

III.        The power of listening

IV.        Credibility of the speaker is key in persuasion

V.        Evidence in persuasion

A.       Tips for using evidence in persuasion

B.       Reasoning in persuasion

VI.        Emotion in persuasion

VII.        Organizing the argument

A.       Questions of fact, value, and policy

B.       Monroe's Motivated Sequence

VIII.       Defining of strategic management in operations

A.       Strategic planning

B.       Implementation of the strategic plan

C.       Questions to ask in developing your business model

IX.        Mindset of strategic thinking

A.       What is my business environment

B.       What is my corporate culture

C.       What are your goals and objectives

X.        Strategic planning models

A.       Kerry Napuk's 5-Step Strategic Planning Model

B.       Karl Albrecht's Strategy Formulation Process

XI.        Questions to ask when creating strategic alternatives

XII.        Criteria for implementation

Project Management

I.     Project management for executives

II.     Foundation of project management

A.       Modern project management

B.       Project management context

C.       Application of project management principles

III.     Characteristics of a project

A.       Established objectives

B.       Defined life-cycle

C.       Require organizational commitment

D.       Time, cost and performance requirements

IV.     Project management lifecycle

A.       Difference between projects and programs

B.       Skills essential for project managers

I.      Build effective team

II.      Use individual contributors

III.      Motivate in a project management environment

IV.      Manage effective meetings

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Instructors & Support

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 the University of California, 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.


Prerequisites / Requirements


There are no prerequisites prior to taking this course. 


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
  • 2 GB RAM

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (not included in enrollment).
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

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
  • Dictionary of Legal Terms, Barron's Educational Series
  • Paralegal Practice & Procedure

About Certification


The National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS) is a leading organization for legal professionals in the United States. Their motto is to “engage, inspire, enhance, and promote,” in order to help paralegals, legal secretaries, and others in the field achieve their goals, and to advance the legal profession in general. NALS has overseen thousands of certifications, including its Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) examination, which is a great way to demonstrate your credibility and gain entry into this competitive industry.



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Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

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.

Does this course prepare for a certification?

 Yes, this course prepares you for the National Association of Legal Professionals (NALS) Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) exam. 

When can I start the course?

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.

How long does it take to complete this course?

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 six (6) months to complete the course.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?

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 your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

What kind of support will I receive?

You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

What happens when I complete the course?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a certificate of completion. You'll also have the knowledge that will equip you to take the Accredited Legal Secretary exam from the National Association of Legal Professionals (NALS).

Am I guaranteed a job?

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.

Can I get financial assistance?

ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do 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:

How can I get more information about this course?

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.

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