Location
Start Dates

  • January 10, 2023
  • September 05, 2023
Duration

5Terms

Program Delivery

  • Any-time Online
  • Blended
  • In Class
  • Real-time Online
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $11,151
International: CAD $28,521
Estimated Book Costs: CAD $800

Not all courses may be offered in each delivery modality each semester.

The maximum course load for Fall or Winter semester is five (5) courses. Taking less than five courses for Fall or Winter term will take longer to complete the program. If taking condensed courses in the Spring/Summer term, the recommended maximum course load is two (2) condensed courses plus one (1) full-term (Spring/Summer) course. Students may elect to register in any combination as long as no more than two (2) condensed spring or summer courses are taken at the same time.

Note: Students can maintain full time status with at least three courses.

Program Description

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, prioritization, and an understanding of confidentiality. Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential in this position. The Legal Assistant Capstone course brings theory and practice together in a law office simulation. Expected keyboarding speed at the end of this program is 60 words per minute.

Time commitment
This is a two-year (four term) diploma program. A standard course load is five courses per term. Students can maintain full time status with at least three courses. Taking less than five courses per term will take longer to complete the program.
   
Learning options

Courses are available both in class and online. Please note that not all courses may be available online each semester. Consult with Academic Advising Team to assist with your program planning. 
For courses with scheduled final exams, they are required to be completed in person or at an approved invigilation site.


Field Placement (optional)

If you started your program prior to Fall 2022, an optional field placement will be offered until (and including) Fall 2023. Optional field placement is a non-credit, unpaid 6-week field placement that occurs at the end of your program. To be eligible for optional field placement, you need to finish your coursework and complete all pre-placement requirements. 

You will receive additional information and an application for field placement from Career Services.

 
Find out more! 

Field Placement

Course Listings Request More Information

Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor
info@bowvalleycollege.ca
403-410-1402


International Learner Applicants

International Education
North Campus – Third Floor
international@bowvalleycollege.ca
403-410-3476


Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements 
  • Credit in English Language Arts 30-1 or minimum 65% in English Language Arts 30-2 or equivalent
  • Credit in a Grade 10 math (excluding Math 10-4 and Math 16 levels)

Or

Successful completion of the General Educational Development test (GED) that consists of five tests with a minimum score in the following sections:

  • Interpreting Literature and Art: 520 minimum standard score
  • Writing Skills: 520 minimum standard score
  • Math Test: 450 minimum score

    Or

    • 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.

     

    Transferability

    Transfer opportunities are available to a variety of institutions. Transfer credits are reviewed and accepted on an individual basis by the institution to which you apply. See our most current transfer agreements here

    Related Links


    Course Listings Request More Information

    Domestic Applicants

    Welcome Centre
    South Campus – Main Floor
    info@bowvalleycollege.ca
    403-410-1402


    International Learner Applicants

    International Education
    North Campus – Third Floor
    international@bowvalleycollege.ca
    403-410-3476


    Employment Rate

    86%


    Training Related Employment Rate

    61%


    Based on 2019-2020 domestic and international students who self-reported finding employment or training-related employment within 6-12 months after graduating.


    Lorraine Williams, Legal Assistant Diploma
     

    "The Chiu School of Business provided excellent support, guidance, and resources that helped me get hired. I took away not just an education, but lifelong skills. The program provides full support and opportunities such as networking events, practicum, and mock interviews. With its flexibility, I was able to work full-time and still complete the required number of courses each semester online. I highly recommend this program!"

    Damini Sikand

    Legal Assistant Diploma

    Course Listing


    Full course outlines are available here.

    Curriculum subject to change.

    Term 1

    Required CoursesCredit

    Effective keyboarding is an integral part of being successful in an office environment. Focus is placed on ergonomic touch-typing technique to master the alphabetic and numeric keyboard. Learners with keyboarding experience have the opportunity to improve their technique to achieve higher level of speed and accuracy.

    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.

    Litigation is the process by which private disputes are resolved within the Alberta court system. This course examines the court structure and how to reference the Alberta Rules of Court. Learners explore how plaintiffs bring claims to court and how defendants can defend against those claims. Introductory steps in a civil litigation dispute are covered up to a process called "Questioning." Knowledge is applied by preparing key documents used in the civil litigation process.

    Confident business communication requires learners to explore the changing landscape of digital media, while developing writing skills and techniques to compose competent, professional communications. In this course, learners explore research tools to aid in effective oral presentations and strengthen interpersonal skills to be an effective communicator in the Canadian workplace.

    Term 2

    Required CoursesCredit

    A successful legal assistant demonstrates efficient keyboarding skills and attention to detail. Building on the skills developed in ADMN1101, learners have the opportunity to improve their touch-typing technique to achieve higher levels of speed and accuracy to meet industry standards. Through continued development of proofreading strategies, along with a focus on the keying of legal and general terminology, learners have the opportunity to develop the attention to detail expected in the legal assistant profession.

    Learners expand their word processing skills by exploring and applying advanced features in Microsoft Word. Focus is placed on producing, formatting, proofreading, and editing multi-page legal documents.

    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 procedures and documents involved in purchasing residential properties. Learners explore real estate law terms and principles in relation to land ownership, rights and obligations of buyers and sellers, and statutes affecting land.

    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.

    Term 3

    Required CoursesCredit

    The use of business technology is essential to effectively manage information required in today's businesses and networked environments. In this course, learners gain hands-on experience in managing and customizing Microsoft Outlook as well as using cloud-computing web applications and social media sites.

    Building on the principles examined and the skills developed in Real Estate Law I, learners are introduced to the procedures and documents involved in a residential sale transaction. Learners explore a legal assistant's day-to-day role and responsibilities, and prepare correspondence and documents needed for a residential sale transaction. Secondary financing, bridge financing, and residential leasing are also introduced.

    This course introduces learners to the three main types of business organizations - sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Learners examine why business owners would choose one type of organization over another and what the process would be to create these organizations. The impact of the Business Corporations Act, the Partnership Act, and the Securities Act on business organizations is also reviewed. Learners prepare documents to create, maintain and dissolve business organizations.

    This course introduces the theory and practice of family law. Learners explore statutes that govern family matters within the various levels of court and prepare documents for divorces, family property claims, spousal support, child support, parenting time, decision-making responsibilities, and contact with children. Agencies associated with domestic disputes and enforcing court orders are also introduced.

    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.

    Term 4

    Required CoursesCredit

    In this course, learners are introduced to the legal structures and processes that enable businesses to generate revenue and make a profit. Legal Assistants complete agreements, documents and forms required to turn legal advice into legal and business reality. Learners review and prepare share transfer agreements, offers to lease, commercial real estate land transfers and mortgage documentation, commercial personal property lending documents, and closing agendas. The commercial impacts of the Alberta Business Corporations Act, Land Titles Act, Law of Property Act, and the Personal Property Security Act are also examined.

    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.

    This course introduces the legal assistant's role in the theory and practice of debt collection. The focus of the course is on the tasks and documents required for secured and unsecured debt, foreclosure, and lease collection.

    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.

    Term 5

    Required CourseCredit

    In this Field Placement course, learners in the legal assistant program can transition from the academic to the professional world by applying skills learned in previous courses to real-world projects and activities. Learners have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of being a professional and learn about current workplace expectations while connecting with community and industry partners.

    Program FAQs

    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. 

    Alberta Learning Information Services: Occupational Profile

    Planning your course schedule according to availability and prerequisites requires some consideration.

    Once you are a registered student in a program at the Chiu School of Business, our Academic Advising team can also assist you with planning. 

     

     

    If you are taking an online course, you should make sure your computer has the following applications: 

    • Reliable internet access – DSL or cable connections are highly recommended.
    • We recommend Windows 7 or 10 (preferred) or Mac OS software; Microsoft Office 2013 (minimum); Adobe Acrobat Reader; and a media player such as Adobe Flash Player, QuickTime, or Windows Media Player.
    • Some courses might require additional software or applications packages. You will be given this information before starting the course.
    • We recommend Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari as browsers. D2L does not work well with Internet Explorer. 
     

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    • If you anticipate applying for a student loan, your payment will be refunded to you based on your loan award once your funding has been received by BVC.

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