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Legal Assistant Diploma

Testimonial - LAD

Description: Legal Assistants play a key role in a law office, a corporate legal department or the judicial system. A Legal Assistant will have excellent oral and written communication skills, time management skills, with the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines. Legal Assistants have superior computer skills, excellent attention to detail and proof reading skills, work well in both a team and independently, have a high standard of work ethics and be able to keep client information confidential. In addition, at the end of the 60-week program, students should be typing at an industry standard of 60 wpm.

Time Commitment:This is a two year (4 terms / 60 weeks total) Diploma program. A full course load per semester includes 5 courses. Students may elect to take fewer courses each semester; however it will take longer to complete the program.

Online Option: The Legal Assistant Diploma program is also available online offering you the flexibility to study at home. As you work through a course, your instructor is available to answer questions, explain concepts and provide continuous support and feedback via e-mail.

Career Possibilities: This program prepares you for a wide range of employment opportunities in legal support services. This is a growing field with excellent employment prospects. Students may be eligible for a free membership with the Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals.

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Courses in Program

Students may complete the courses in any order subject to prerequisites. Please review course availability when putting together your schedule.

Download the Program Breakdown Schedule here. 

Semester dates and other important dates: Important Dates

Core courses

Click on the blue box to view the course description and any prerequisite courses.  * Indicates course that is also available online.

ADMN1101 - Keyboarding/Skillbuilding I (3 credits)*

In this course, learners focus on the mastery of the alphabetic and numeric keyboard, keying by touch-typing and correct technique. Learners with previous keyboarding experience have the opportunity to improve their technique to achieve higher speed and better accuracy.

Generally available:
In-class: Fall  & Winter Semesters
Online: Fall , Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

ADMN1102 - Keyboarding/Skillbuilding II (3 credits)*

In this course, learners build on the skills developed in Keyboarding/ Skillbuilding I. Learners key by touch-typing and apply ergonomic techniques to increase accuracy and speed. Learners work on keyboarding drills containing both general and legal terminology. 

Generally available:
In-class: Winter & Spring Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
ADMN1101 - Keyboarding/Skillbuilding I

ADMN1103 - Keyboarding/Skillbuilding III (3 credits)*

In this course, learners build on the skills developed in Keyboarding/Skillbuilding II.  Keying by touch and with correct technique, learners increase speed and accuracy and incorporate timed productions to measure progress.  

Generally available:
In-class: Fall Semester
Online:  Fall , Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
ADMN1102 - Keyboarding/Skillbuilding II

ADMN1701 - Communication Fundamentals (3 credits)*

This course focuses on learners developing skills to improve communication within a workplace setting.  Emphasis is placed on the importance of correct and current business English in written and oral communication. Learners can enhance written communication skills and techniques by composing, revising, and editing a variety of business correspondence. 

Generally available:
In-class: Fall & Winter Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL1201 - Introduction to the Legal Profession (3 credits)*

This course provides a summary of the fundamental aspects of the Canadian legal system, and the role of legal assistants in that system. Principles of tort, contract law, and employment law are also introduced.

Generally available:
In-class: Fall  & Winter Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL1401 - Legal Document Processing I (3 credits)*

This course is an introduction to Microsoft Word and document processing. Learners are introduced to basic and intermediate Microsoft Word skills which can be applied to a variety of documents. Focus is placed on correctly formatting legal business letters and proofreading.

Generally available:
In-class: Fall  & Winter Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL1402 - Legal Document Processing II (3 credits)*

Learners have the opportunity to expand their word processing skills by exploring advanced features in Microsoft Word. Focus is placed on producing, formatting, and editing multi-page legal documents with an emphasis on accuracy and adhering to legal standards.  

Generally available:
In-class: Winter & Spring Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring  Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
LEGL1401 - Legal Document Processing I

LEGL1501 - Litigation I (3 credits)*

This course is an introduction to civil litigation procedures in Alberta. The various steps of a litigation file are studied in chronological order from opening the file to trial completion. Topics covered include deadlines and limitations, information gathering, drafting of pleadings and other court documents, questioning and the preparation for and conduct of trial.

Generally available:
In-class: Fall & Winter Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL1502 - Litigation II (3 credits)*

Building on the skills covered in Litigation I, learners explore the rules, procedures, and documents in more complex litigation matters processed in the Court of Queen's Bench. Learners review topics unique to personal injury matters and the procedures and documentation for the Provincial Court of Alberta and Court of Appeal. Emphasis is placed on the conformity with the Alberta Rules of Court and the role of the legal assistant.

Generally available:
In-class: Winter & Spring Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter, & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
LEGL1501 - Litigation I

LEGL1601 - Introduction to Real Estate (3 credits)*

This course is an introduction to real property law with emphasis on the procedural aspects that form part of a residential real estate practice. In addition to gaining theoretical knowledge of land ownership, learners are introduced to the various tasks and documents involved in a standard seller and buyer transaction.

Generally available:
In-class: Winter & Spring Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL2101 - Corporate Law (3 credits)*

Learners are introduced to the area of corporate law focusing on private business structures. Learners prepare documents and complete administrative duties with respect to sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. This course also introduces procedures and terminology used in publically traded corporations.  

Generally available:
In-class: Fall Semester
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL2102 - Commercial Law (3 credits) [Online Only]*

This course explores the procedures for how businesses borrow money, manage their affairs, and buy or sell assets and shares. Learners review documents commonly used in commercial transactions including commercial leasing, commercial financing of real and personal property, and the sale and purchase of a business. The course also reviews procedures relating to partnerships and partnership agreements.

Generally available:
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
LEGL1601 - Introduction to Real Estate
LEGL2101 - Corporate Law

LEGL2103 - Family Law (3 credits)*

This course is an introduction to the role of the legal assistant in the theoretical and procedural practices of Family Law. The student will be introduced to the various statutes that govern family law, the jurisdiction of the court, the ethics involved in the sensitive area of family law, the different rights and obligations arising in a formal marriage and common law marriage, the divorce procedure for both contested and uncontested divorces, an overview of the division of matrimonial property, interim applications, and an overview of child and spousal maintenance and custody and access of children.

Generally available:
In-class: Winter & Spring Semesters
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
LEGL1501 - Litigation I

LEGL2104 - Wills & Estates (3 credits)*

This course examines estate planning and estate administration in Alberta. Learners prepare Wills, Personal Directives, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Applications for a Grant of Administration and Grant of Probate in accordance with Alberta legislation and common legal practice and procedure. 

Generally available:
In-class: Fall Semester
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL2105 - Criminal Law (3 credits)*

This course is an introduction to criminal law, the structure of The Criminal Code of Canada, and basic constitutional law which includes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Emphasis is placed on gaining familiarity with the Criminal Code as statute law and applicable procedural requirements.  

Generally available:
In-class: Winter Semester
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL2401 - Legal Information Processing*

Building on technical skills, learners are introduced to Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint with emphasis on how these applications are used in the legal practice.

Generally available:
In-class: Winter Semester
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
LEGL1401 - Legal Document Processing I

LEGL2402 - Legal Transcription (3 credits)*

This course covers transcription of legal correspondence and documents from recorded instructions. This course will further assist in expanding legal vocabulary and reinforce legal office practices and procedures while the student transcribes authentic case files.

Generally available:
In-class: Winter Semester
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
ADMN1102 - Keyboarding/Skillbuilding II
LEGL1402 - Legal Document Processing II

LEGL2601 - Credit & Collections (3 credits)*

This course introduces the theory and practice of debt collection. The focus of the course is on the tasks and documentation completed in a law office when working on an unsecured credit file, secured credit file, foreclosure matter and landlord collection file.

Generally available:
In-class: Fall Semester
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
LEGL1501 - Litigation I

LEGL2701 - Law Office Procedures (3 credits)*

This course presents the fundamentals of law office procedures and hierarchical organizational structure in the legal office environment. Learners become familiar with the daily routine and duties of a legal assistant including file management, law firm accounting, appointment scheduling, time management, reminder systems, office interactions and mail and courier routines.  

Generally available:
In-class: Fall Semester
Online: Fall, Winter, & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
None

LEGL2999 - Legal Assistant Capstone Course (3 credits)*

The role of the legal assistant is actualized in this course through the learner's practical application of many previously-learned essential skills including decision making, initiative, time management, problem solving, critical thinking and document analysis. Learners are presented with realistic office scenarios to effectively practice and improve these skills.

Generally available:
In-class: Winter Semester
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s):
ADMN1701 - Communication Fundamentals
LEGL1601 - Introduction to Real Estate
LEGL2103 - Family Law
LEGL2101 - Corporate Law
LEGL2104 - Wills & Estates

Co-requisite(s):
LEGL2402 - Legal Transcription

Optional Employment Preparation

This online course cultivates skills in job search strategies, cover letter and resume preparation, effective interview and development of a career portfolio. This course is open to all Legal Assistant Diploma learners. 

ADMN9988 Employment Preparation  (optional, non-credit)

This course gives you the tools that will help you stand out in a competitive job market. It is important to note that the course fee ($150) is not covered by student loans, as the course is non-credit. THIS COURSE IS NOT A REQUIRED COURSE TO GRADUATE.

Prerequisite: 15 program credits

Generally available:
Online: Fall, Winter & Spring Semesters

Optional Work Experience

Work Experience (workplace practicum) offers you the opportunity to use your new skills in the workplace, receive strong mentorship, gain valuable experience,and enjoy networking opportunities. Work Experience is offered as an unpaid, non-credit work placement scheduled at the completion of all your required courses. Work Experience is competitive and final acceptance for placement is subject to departmental approval. 

ADMN9999 Work Experience  (optional, non-credit)

This course bridges curriculum study with the Calgary workplace through experiential learning. Length of Work Experience is 6 weeks, full-time hours.

Learners will have an opportunity to:

  • Use their new technical skills;
  • Observe/integrate into office culture;
  • Work on soft skills/communication skills;
  • Network with industry colleagues;
  • Gain references and add experience to their resumes;
  • Possibly gain employment or referral;
  • Receive evaluation from the host. 

It is important to note that the course fee ($200) is not covered by student loans as the course is non-credit. 

Prerequisites: 

  • Passing grades in all required courses including ADMN9998 Employment Preparation
  • Minimum grade B- in ADMN1701, MGMT1201 or LEGL1301
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.6
  • TOWES completion
  • Demonstrated commitment to learning and professionalism

Contact a Student Engagement Officer for further details regarding Optional Work Experience. 

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