Frequently Asked Questions
What is a lawyer's assistant?
A lawyer's assistant, also known as a legal secretary, is defined as someone who works in a legal department or law firm and performs highly specialized work requiring knowledge of technical terminology and legal procedures.
What will I learn while in your Lawyer's Assistant Program?
You will learn the skills needed to work in a law office assisting attorneys and other legal staff in the delivery of legal services. Topics include ethics, law office vocabulary, the courts, litigation, contracts, torts, criminal law, family law, estate planning, estates and guardianships, legal procedures, bankruptcy, administrative agencies, and proper oral and written communication. This program is tied to the ALS national certification from NALS.
Who should apply to the Lawyer's Assistant Program?
You should apply to our program if you are interested in:
- Professional development due to your current role in a law office.
- Entering the legal field as a lawyer's assistant (legal secretary).
- A change of career and want to learn what working in a law office may be like.
- Brushing up on some of the vocabulary learned while in a pre-law undergraduate program.
- The possibility of attending law school and want to use this program as an intermediate step while making that decision. (Note: this program is not an LSAT Prep course.)
- Demonstrating your preparedness for a demanding career in the legal field.
- Preparing for the NALS ALS exam- the basic certification for legal professionals.
Are there prerequisites for the program?
Ideally, applicants should have worked in an office previously and have the recommendation of former employers. However, since we require a resume submission, we will also consider number of years worked and other types of work experience along with your education level. Serious students should send in the application materials since there is no fee to apply. We will contact you to discuss your specific qualifications.
When does the program begin?
The program course dates are timed so that the last class ends shortly before the ALS Exam is held. Contact us for specific dates beyond what is posted on the website.
When do classes meet?
The legal portion is delivered online with mandatory weekly conference calls initiated by the instructor. These calls are determined in advance of the start date and are conducted for each cohort on a specified day and time, Monday through Friday only. Students must block their time each week to participate in them. If students need to strengthen their skills in basic Microsoft™ Office, the administrative skills portion of the course is held on site during the day.
How long is the program?
This program takes about six months to complete. This website provides a sample course syllabus and program participants are provided a more detailed syllabus with meeting dates and specific assignments well in advance of the start of the program.
Who teaches your program?
Our course is taught by excellent licensed, experienced, practicing lawyers. See the faculty page for more information about each instructor.
What is the course format? Is this an online program?
This is a hybrid course, not an online program. Therefore, it is a classroom program with the benefits of the Internet and the Blackboard learning management system. Using Blackboard, students need to come to class only for a portion of the course including orientation and several exam dates. Supplemental materials, quizzes and other related items for the legal portion are accessed online. This enhances teaching and learning while engaging students in an interactive way.
Can I get college credit for completing this program?
This is a certificate program so we cannot award any college credits. There are, however, three types of certificates awarded based on your grades; see the sample course syllabus for details.
How much does the program cost?
The program costs $3,995, which includes all tuition fees, books and materials. Applications received less than three weeks in advance of the program start date may incur a late registration fee.
Is financial assistance available?
As this is a certificate program, assistance available for degreed programs are not available for this program. Students who require financial assistance might consider exploring the following options: training scholarship voucher from Workforce Central Florida (if unemployed or under-employed) or loans offered by Sallie Mae or Wells Fargo. More information is available on the financial assistance page.
If I don't want to take out a loan or cannot find a co-signer for one, can I pay in installments?
Unfortunately, since the course is opened up to the students up front, tuition must be paid in full prior to starting the course.
Is a lawyer's assistant the same as a paralegal?
No. A lawyer's assistant cannot conduct client interviews, locate and interview witnesses, or conduct investigations which are some of the tasks that a paralegal can do under the supervision of an attorney. This program is not a paralegal program.
What happens when I complete the program?
Successful graduates receive a Stetson University Lawyer's Assistant Program Certificate.
Is there any other option available for this type of training?
Students may elect to enroll in only the legal module portion of the course. In addition to not including term exams, fees, or the ALS exam, several other components of the course are also not included. To enroll in the legal module only, contact us. You will be asked to complete an alternate registration form. The tuition for this alternative is $895.
Who do I contact for more information?
For more information, please contact Rosemary Cangelosi at firstname.lastname@example.org.