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02/22/11 – Legal Office Support Certificate

Last updated 5/29/2014

Certificate Code: 9150

Program Contacts:
QC Campus
Amy Levens-Smith, 309-796-5314, bainv@bhc.edu
East Campus
Wendy Smith, 309-854-1713, smithw@bhc.edu


Completion of this certificate program prepares the student to seek employment as clerical support staff in legal-related offices. Students will be required to complete credit hours in legal procedures so that they are familiar with law office practices. In addition they will receive training in 21st century workforce skills emphasizing communication, team work, project management, problem solving, and systems development.

In addition to the professional law office staff, legal-related offices seek employees who can assist the legal secretary, paralegals, attorneys, and others to complete office tasks. The titles for these positions will vary.

The Legal Office Support position is not a terminal occupation. Individuals employed in this type of work will be presented with opportunities to move up the corporate ladder upon receiving additional work experience, training, and/or education. Many students will work in this area on a part-time basis as they continue their education. Still others prefer part-time work due to family or other personal responsibilities. A job in an office as a Legal Office Support person will allow individuals to experience the law office environment before deciding on the type of law and type of office in which they would like to seek more permanent employment.

Legal Office Support Certificate
Certificate Code: 9150
Course of Study Outline – Suggested Courses (Credit Hours)
First Semester
BE 100 — Work Environment Orientation (2)
BE 106 — Records Management – fall only (3)
BE 120 — Technology Tools – fall only (2)
BE 141 — Computerized Keyboarding I (3)
BE 145 A,B,C — Information Processing I, II, III  or  (3)
BE 145 — Information Processing
BE 160 — Machine Transcription – fall only (3)
BE 248B — Desktop Publishing II – fall only (1)

Second Semester
BE 122 — Administrative Support Systems - spring only (3)
BE 142 — Computerized Keyboarding II - spring only (3)
BE 151 — Legal Terminology and Procedures - spring only (3)
BL 201 — Business Law I (3)
COMM 105 — Essentials of English (3)

Minimum total hours required for certificate (32)

The Legal Office Support Certificate is based upon a “ladder” concept so that students may exit the program after 32 hours or continue to pursue the Legal Office Professional Associate in Applied Science degree. The certificate consists of the first two semesters of the degree.

Courses for this program include: »

BE 100 Work Environment Orientation
2 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
This course is intended to introduce the facts, skills, strengths, and career goals necessary for success in the business education curricula.

BE 106 Records Management
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Management of records using ARMA rules. Emphasis is on current business practices, systems, supplies, and computers in records control, retrieval, disposal, and database management.

BE 120 Technology Tools
2 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
This course will allow students hands-on knowledge of technology tools and digital imaging currently used in the business.

BE 122 Administrative Support Systems
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Discussion of attitudes, ethics, professional conduct, global market awareness, and effective procedures for encouraging teamwork and discouraging workplace harassment. Emphasis on telecommunications, meeting planning, proofreading and grammar review, time management, organizational tools for electronic offices, and methods to research information for business use.

BE 141 Computerized Keyboarding I
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Keyboard mastery and document formatting using a current word processing software package.

BE 142 Computerized Keyboarding II
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: BE 145 “C” or better or BE 145A, BE 145B, and BE 145C “C” or better or instructor consent.
Speed and accuracy building in producing business documents.

BE 145 Information Processing
1-3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: BE 141 “C” or better or instructor consent.

Students learn word processing software most commonly found in area offices. This course is equivalent to BE 145A, 145B, and 145C.

BE 145A Information Processing I
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
Students learn word processing software most commonly found in area offices.

BE 145B Information Processing II
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
Students learn word processing software most commonly found in area offices.

BE 145C Information Processing III
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
Students learn word processing software most commonly found in area offices.

BE 151 Legal Terminology and Procedures
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: BE 141 and BE 145A.
Emphasis is on definitions, spelling, and pronunciation of legal terms. Familiarizes students with various fields of law and the proper presentation of legal documents.

BE 160 Machine Transcription
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: BE 141 “C” or better or instructor consent.
Development of machine transcription and proofreading skills using computer word processing software.

BE 248B Desktop Publishing II
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: BE 145 “C” or better or BE 145A, B and C or instructor consent.
Use of current software to produce a variety of documents incorporating desktop publishing features and principles of layout and design.

BL 201 Business Law I
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: BA 110 recommended.
A general survey of the basic principles, systems and practices of American law including government agencies and regulation, alternative dispute resolution, torts, employment law, bankruptcy, international law, and consumer protection.

COMM 105 Essentials of English
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Reviews grammar, punctuation, usage and sentence structure and organizational principles of writing through a variety of tasks. COMM 105 is a required course in several career curricula.


Gainful Employment

Gainful employment is one important measure that students and parents should pay attention to as they examine colleges and programs. All non-degree programs must be designed to lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation in order to be deemed eligible for federal student aid. These programs are generally less than 2 years in length and result in a certificate.

Legal Office Support Certificate