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Course Information
Business and Information Technology Education
BT00089
Legal Office Procedures
180.00
This course builds upon Foundations for the Legal Office and includes important soft skills, including ethics and communication, to be successfully employed in a legal office. This course will provide students with the concepts, principles, and attitudes needed to understand how a legal office is operated and managed in a rapidly changing global environment.
Blake McCrabb
(405)743-5419
bmccr@okcareertech.org
Foundations for the Legal Office
Ethics in the Legal Profession:
-Avoid the appearance of impropriety
-Deal with confidential information
-Explain attorney-client privilege
-Preserve the identity of funds and property of clients
-Promote confidence in the legal profession
-Support integrity in the legal profession
-Explain what constitutes the unauthorized practice of law
-Problem solve situations with conflicts of interest

Office Structure and Staffing:
-Explain the duties and responsibilities of the legal professional
-Identify the classification of lawyers
-Explain the differences and similarities between a paralegal and a legal professional, legal teams, and types of law practices
-Demonstrate the ability to establish priorities and the need to meet deadlines
-List procedures and resources for making travel arrangements
-Be familiar with professional organization for legal assistants
-Identify the role and duties of a Notary Public and the process for becoming a Notary in Oklahoma

Mail and Docket Control:
-Explain how to process incoming and outgoing mail
-Demonstrate familiarity with delivery and mailing services
-Keep accurate appointments, deadlines, and reminders
-Utilize appropriate software to manage email, calendars, tasks, and contacts
-Track receipt of documents and calculate deadlines
-Be familiar with court rules and statutes of limitations

Appropriate Communication Techniques:
-Demonstrate courtesy
-Explain and apply the importance of first impressions
-Use an e-mail system appropriately; write and format e-mails correctly
-Correctly write and format legal documents
-Use appropriate titles when meeting or introducing others
-Define and demonstrate appropriate listening skills (active vs. passive listening)
-Identify barriers to effective communication
-Demonstrate appropriate customer service skills

Telephone Etiquette:
-Identify common barriers to open communication
-Identify appropriate customer care representative behaviors
-Distinguish between idle conversation and dialogue
-Demonstrate ability to determine customer expectations
-Demonstrate ability to use fact-finding techniques
-Demonstrate proper phone etiquette and techniques.-conference calls, voice mail, pagers, video conferencing, transferring calls, ending calls, taking messages, screening calls, hold, cell phones
-Demonstrate proper technique for beginning and ending calls
-Identify methods for showing customer empathy
-Identify methods to build customer goodwill
-Demonstrate methods for dealing with difficult callers
-Describe the importance of behavioral styles as it applies to telephone techniques
-Define and describe the following types of telephone equipment: speaker phone, multi-line phones, conference calls, video conference calls, wireless communication devices
-Define branding
-Define customer service effectiveness
-Define screening calls
-Define the phrase "our customers are blind"
-Demonstrate fact-finding techniques
-Differentiate when to use open and closed-ended questions
-Model positive impression using proper communication techniques
-Demonstrate proper word choice when dealing with customers
-Demonstrate proper techniques when transferring calls
-Demonstrate appropriate voice quality
-Define the four standard behavioral styles: decisive, inquisitive, rational, and expressive
-Describe the components of an ideal customer service environment
-Demonstrate techniques for handling difficult customers
-Define the following listener types: active, passive, cohesive, constructive, and emotive
-Demonstrate the ability to listen for meaning
-Define the following barriers to effective listening: psychological, social, sensory, organizational, emotional, bias, difficult customer, physical, preoccupation, and hearing loss

Law Office Accounting:
-Define accounting terminology and utilize procedures
-Explain procedures for depositing funds
-Know the different kinds of check endorsements
-Differentiate between firm bank accounts and trust bank accounts
-Explain how to keep activity registers, time sheets, diaries, etc.
-Monitor cash flow and accounts receivable
-Manage budgets and expenses
-Explain the process for stopping payment on checks
-Explain the use of special checks: bank drafts, cashier's check, certified checks

Billing and Timekeeping:
-Define and apply legal fee agreements
-Manage reports
-Process timekeeping and billing cycles
-Apply appropriate timekeeping system/software

Information Systems:
-Utilize appropriate application software
-Identify system hardware and equipment
-Be familiar with network security and policies
-Use electronic research systems

File and Library Management:
-Apply file management policies and ethics implications
-Become familiar with file systems and methods
-Update law books with inserts and pocket parts
-Maintain the law library

Office Equipment:
-Demonatrate familiarity with copiers, fax machines, scanners, dictation equipment, filing equipment, and postage meters

Brainbench:
http://www.brainbench.com/

Career Cluster Resources for Business, Management and Administration:
http://www.careerclusters.org/clusterDocuments.badocuments/BAFinal.pdf
http://www.careerclusters.org/clusters/16cc.php?cluster=ba
Required Brainbench Certifications (or equivalent industry certification):
-Office Procedures
-Telephone Etiquette

Recommended Additional Competency Testing:
-Business Ethics/Awareness
-Interpersonal Communication
-Customer Assistance
-Listening Skills
-Filing
-Legal Secretarial Skills

Brainbench:
http://www.okcareertech.org/certify
Brainbench

National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS)
West Publishing Co. - Basic Manual for the Lawyer's Assistan - ISBN 0-314-2570309

Burrow and Everard. Business Principles and Management, Southwestern, 2004.

Proofreading at the Computer - ISBN 0-538-68921-2

Customer Service - ISBN 0-538-43126-1

Telephone and Voice Mail - ISBN 0-539-4323-3

Pearson/Prentice Hall. Legal Office Procedures ISBN: 0-13-220956-X
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Career Majors That Sequence This Course
Career Cluster Pathway Career Major
Business Management & Administration Administrative & Information Support Legal Office Assistant
Business Management & Administration Administrative & Information Support Legal Receptionist