- January 08 2018
- May 03 2018
- August 30 2018
- Any-time Online
- In Class
Tuition & Fees
Domestic: CAD $8,178
International: CAD $23,548
A full course load is 5 courses per term. Students may elect to take fewer courses each term; however, it will take longer to complete the program.
Get ready to take on a key role in a law office, a corporate legal department, or the judicial system. Legal assistants have superior computer skills, excellent attention to detail and proofreading skills, effective time management, and an understanding of confidentiality. Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential in this position. Expected keyboarding speed at the end of this program is 60 words per minute.
The Legal Assistant Diploma program is also available online. This gives you the flexibility to study at home. Your online instructor is available to provide support and feedback through email.
Plan the sequence of your courses with this schedule.
Please note that the last day of Fall term is December 19, 2017 for all Chiu School of Business programs.
- Credit in English 30-1 or minimum 65% in English 30-2 or equivalent
- Credit in a Grade 10 math (excluding Math 10-4 and Math 16 levels)
Successful completion of the General Educational Development test (GED) that consists of five tests with a minimum score in the following sections:
- Satisfactory results on the Bow Valley College Admissions Test
Note: A minimum keyboarding speed of 25 words per minute is strongly recommended.
Note: Some practicum agencies and field placements may require a Police Information Check.
English Language Proficiency Requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, please review English language proficiency requirements.
"The Legal Assistant Diploma Program has given me a solid foundation for my career. All the instructors were knowledgeable, friendly, and very approachable. I highly recommend that everyone take the Work Experience portion."
Legal Assistant Diploma
Curriculum subject to change.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, and employment law are also introduced.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 publicly traded corporations.
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.
This courses is only available online.
Prerequisites: LEGL1601 and LEGL2101
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.
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.
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.
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.
This course covers transcription of legal documents from audio files into a final product intended to be reviewed by a lawyer. Learners also have an opportunity to expand legal vocabulary and reinforce proofreading skills and techniques while transcribing authentic case files.
Prerequisites: ADMN1102 and LEGL1402
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.
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.
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.
Prerequisites: ADMN1701, LEGL1601, LEGL2101, LEGL2103 and LEGL2104
Pre- or Co-requisite: LEGL2402
Work Experience Courses
Through research, self-exploration, and participation learners explore and use various communication strategies to prepare for professional employment opportunities. ADMN 9998 Employment Preparation is optional and non-credit, but is a requirement for ADMN 9999 Work Experience. It is important to note that this course is not covered by student loans, as it is non-credit. Prerequisite: Completion of 15 program credits
This course will bridge classroom study with the Calgary workplace through experiential learning. Representing Bow Valley College, Students will have opportunity to use their new technical skills; observe/integrate into office culture; work on soft skills/communication skills; network with industry colleagues; gain reference(s); add experience to their resumes; possibly gain employment or referral; and receive evaluation from Host. Regular attendance in placement is key to success. Open communication is maintained throughout placement among Students, Hosts and Student Engagement Officers. Prerequisites: ADMN9998 and Approval of the Department
This program prepares you for a wide range of employment opportunities in legal support services. This is a growing field with excellent employment prospects. Legal assistants assist lawyers in carrying out their duties and perform a variety of secretarial and administrative duties in law offices, legal departments of large organizations, courts, real estate companies, and land title offices. Specific examples of legal assistant duties include handling real estate transactions, preparing common forms of wills, estates, probate work, collection work, litigation and corporate work, plus general office and clerical duties.
This varies from province to province. In Alberta, a legal assistant generally works with one to three lawyers in an administrative capacity, while a paralegal drafts documents for a group of lawyers in a specific practice area (for example, corporate services, intellectual property, immigration, foreclosures). Generally paralegals are legal assistants who have many years of experience and have worked their way into a paralegal role in their firm. Paralegals bill their time. It is important to note that there is variation from firm to firm about how they define legal assistants and paralegals.
As part of your responsibilities, you will often be dealing directly with the public. As a result, you will be required to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. You should also have an eye for detail, excellent spelling and grammar skills, be a problem solver,and have strong critical thinking skills.
Salaries are variable depending on years of experience and the employer's salary scale. The Alberta Government provides up-to-date information on Alberta’s occupational profiles including wage and salary information. Click on the link to find out more.
There is an optional six-week work experience at the end of the Legal Assistant program. This work experience will provide you with the opportunity to put your skills to work in an area of special interest to you.
Work Experience gives you the chance to use your new skills in the workplace. You'll receive strong mentorship, gain valuable experience, and enjoy networking opportunities.
Work experience is an unpaid, non-credit job placement within Calgary. It's scheduled right after you've completed your required courses and lasts 4-6 weeks, depending on your program.
- You must apply in the first semester of your program. You'll get approval once you meet all prerequisites.
- You'll have to write the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) during your first term. The TOWES credential is one prerequisite for Work Experience eligibility.
- You also have to pay for and successfully complete the Employment Preparation course ADMN9998 beforehand. The course fee is $150, and is not covered by student loans.
- Once you have a Work Experience placement (ADMN9999) in Calgary, you'll complete the full-time work over 4 to 6 weeks. Work experience is scheduled immediately after the completion of all the required program courses. You cannot register for ADMN9999 after graduation. Course fee is $200 and is not covered by student loans.
Planning your course schedule according to availability and prerequisites requires some consideration. Open the schedule to see the availability of all the courses for the next few terms. View this planner to see the recommended course selection per term for this program.
Once you are a registered student in a program at the Chiu School of Business, our student engagement officers can also assist you with planning.
Transfer credits are reviewed and accepted on an individual basis by the institution to which the learner has applied.
Some institutions include:
- Athabasca University
- Thompson Rivers University
- University of Calgary
Please visit the full time course credits pages for details for each program.
If taking an online course, you should ensure your computer has the following:
- Reliable Internet access – DSL or cable connections are highly recommended.
- Recommended software: Windows 7 or 10 (preferred) or Mac OS software, Microsoft Office 2013 (minimum), Adobe Acrobat Reader, and a media plyer such as Flash player, Quick Time, or Windows Media Player.
- Some courses might require additional software of applications packages; you will be given this information prior to starting the course.
- Recommended browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari. D2L does not work well with Internet Explorer.