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Legal Support Professional - Associate In Business Studies

Not all legal work requires a law degree. As a legal support professional, you will work directly under the supervision of a lawyer. You will generally do background work for the lawyer and prepare litigation for trial by investigating the facts of the case to make sure that all relevant information is uncovered. While the lawyer assumes responsibility for the legal support professional’s work, you will often be allowed to perform all the functions of a lawyer other than accepting clients, setting fees, giving legal advice, or presenting a case in court.

You may conduct research to identify the appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles and other material that will be used to determine whether or not the client has a good case. After analyzing all the information, you may prepare a written report that is used by the attorney to decide how the case should be handled. If the attorney decides to file a lawsuit on behalf of the client, you may prepare legal arguments, draft pleadings to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits and assist the attorney during the trial. You may also keep files of all documents and correspondence important to the case. Secretarial services are normally required as well.

    About the Program

    We work closely with area law firms, government offices and businesses to determine employer needs. The State of Michigan does not require a bachelor’s degree in legal studies for an individual to practice as a paralegal, but many employers prefer individuals who have received training and can balance the duties of a traditional paralegal with that of a legal support office professional. Delta’s Legal Support Professional degree and/or certificates often meet those needs.

    Plus, individuals interested in law school do not need to apply with a "pre-law" degree. Law schools choose candidates from a variety of bachelor degree backgrounds. The Delta College program is a good first step in gaining experience in legal topics, and also provides specific legal content for individuals currently working in the field that want to enhance their skills.

    Internships are often available in this field.

    Careers and Job Outlook

    State of Michigan average yearly earnings:

    • Legal Secretary - $45,260
    • Paralegal - $49,510

    Source: Michigan Department of Career Development, 2010 State Occupational Employment, and Wage Estimates of Michigan Occupational Information System.

    Find Out More

    Have questions or want more information? Contact:

    Heidi Helgren
    Assistant Professor
    989-686-9464
    heidihelgren@delta.edu




    Legal Support Professional - Associate In Business Studies


    Program Code: ABS.10282

    Not all legal work requires a law degree. As a legal support professional, you may work in a variety of environments and be responsible for a variety of job duties.

    You may find work directly under the supervision of a lawyer. While the lawyer assumes responsibility for the legal support professional’s work, you will often be allowed to perform all the functions of a lawyer other than accepting clients, setting fees, giving legal advice, or presenting a case in court. You will generally do background work for the lawyer and help a lawyer prepare litigation for trail by investigating the facts of the case to make sure that all relevant information is uncovered. Secretarial services are normally required as well.

    You may conduct research to identify the appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, and other material that will be used to determine whether or not the client has a good case. After analyzing all the information, you may prepare a written report that is used by the attorney to decide how the case should be handled. If the attorney decides to file a lawsuit on behalf of the client, you may prepare legal arguments, draft pleadings to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits, and assist the attorney during the trial. You may also be responsible for routinely typing up the pleadings and client correspondence.

    You may find work in a police department, court office, administrative office, nonprofit organization, loss prevention department or human resource office of a company. Job duties in these types of environments could consist of investigative work, process serving, file maintenance, typing of routine documents, applications and pleadings, and research into appropriate administrative or employment statutes and cases.

    LAW OFFICE FOUNDATION CERTIFICATE: This program is designed to provide a basic foundation of the work required for a Legal Support Professional.

    LAW OFFICE SPECIALIST CERTIFICATE: This program is designed to provide advanced office skills while specializing in a legal office.

    General Education Courses

    CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
    COM 112W3Fundamentals of Oral Communication OR ______________
    COM 114W(3)Interpersonal Communication ______________
    ______________
    LW ---1Any 1 Credit LW Course (As of fall 2007) AND ______________
    LWA ---1Any 1 Credit LWA Course ______________
    OR ______________
    LW ---(2)Any 2 Credit LW Course (As of fall 2007) ______________
    ______________
    OAT 1513Business Communication I AND ______________
    OAT 1523Business Communication II ______________
    OR ______________
    OAT 151(3)Business Communication I AND ______________
    ENG 111(3)College Composition I AND ______________
    ENG 112(3)College Composition II ______________
    OR ______________
    OAT 151(3)Business Communication I AND ______________
    ENG 111(3)College Composition I AND ______________
    ENG 113(3)Technical Communication ______________
    ______________
    POL ---3/4Any Approved American Government Requirement ______________
    ______________
    PSY 101W3Applied Psychology OR ______________
    PSY 211W(4)General Psychology ______________
    17/22Subtotal

    Core Courses

    CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
    ACC 2114Principles of Accounting I ______________
    CST 1061Internet Foundations ______________
    CST 1101Web Page Development Using HTML ______________
    ______________
    CST 1512Spreadsheet Fundamentals OR ______________
    CST 155(3)Microsoft EXCEL ______________
    ______________
    LSP 110W3Legal Ethics and Responsibilities of the Legal Assistant ______________
    LSP 1153Principles of Substantive Law ______________
    LSP 2303Civil Litigation ______________
    ______________
    LSP 2601Legal Support Internship I OR ______________
    LSP 261(2)Legal Support Internship II OR ______________
    LSP 262(3)Legal Support Internship III ______________
    ______________
    LSP 280W3Legal Research and Writing ______________
    MGT 251W3Business Law I ______________
    MGT 2523Business Law II ______________
    MGT 2563Human Resources Management I ______________
    ______________
    OAT 1713Document Processing: Beginning ______________
    OAT 1723Document Processing: Intermediate ______________
    36/39Subtotal

    Elective Courses - Choose 5

    CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
    LSP 1502Real Estate Law ______________
    LSP 2102Estate and Trust Administration ______________
    LSP 2202Environmental Law ______________
    LSP 2353Criminal Law and Procedure ______________
    LSP 2402Domestic Relations ______________
    LSP 2453Personal Injury ______________
    LSP 2502Corporate Law ______________
    LSP 2533Bankruptcy Law ______________
    MGT 257W3Human Resources Management II ______________
    10/14Subtotal



    63/75Total Credits


    Notes

    1 - Proficiency in keyboarding is required for successful completion of this program. If you are not proficient, take OAT 170 in your first semester.
    2 - A grade of "C" (2.0) or higher is required in LSP 110, LSP 115, LSP 230, LSP 280, MGT 251, OAT 151, OAT 152, (OR ENG equivalents) and all Elective Courses.
    3 - OAT 171 Document Processing: Beginning requires OAT 170 Keyboarding with a "B" grade or better. A keyboarding waiver test is available for OAT 170. Contact the BIT Division office, 989.686.9127, to arrange for the waiver test.
    4 - Additional credits earned in LSP 261 or 262 may be used as elective credits.



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