Minnesota State College, Southeast Technical

Minnesota State College, Southeast Technical

A member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System
Programs Of Study

Legal Assistant Careers

The Legal Profession is a growing one.

According to government sources, legal support personnel are an invaluable asset in private law offices and government offices. The number of employment opportunities available for legal office support staff continues to exceed the number of qualified applicants.

The Legal Assistant program at Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical will prepare you to work in an exciting, diverse and respected profession. As a Legal Assistant, you will be trained for employment in private law offices, government offices to include the city and county attorneys' offices, corporate legal departments, court administration, and law offices of public defenders and legal services.

Throughout the Legal Assistant program you will learn organizational, communication and computer skills that can be used in trial work. In addition, emphasis will be placed on learning law office ethics, client confidentiality, conflict of interest screening, legal terminology, docket control, law office procedures and management, document preparation and basic legal research.

Major Offerings

Major Title (Degree) Campus(es) Credits
Legal Administrative Assistant (AAS) W/Online 60 cr
Legal Assistant (CERT) W/Online 25 cr
Legal Office Assistant (DIP) W/Online 38 cr


Program Learning Outcomes

Program graduates will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate critical thinking skills, positive attitudes, human relation skills, and ethical behavior in the workplace.
  2. Demonstrate proficient use of the English language to effectively read, speak and listen critically in order to communicate with co-workers and clientele.
  3. Identify a problem/obstacle and have the ability to locate the resource necessary to reach a solution.
  4. Exhibit organizational skills, practical knowledge, and professionalism used in a legal office environment.
  5. Display a fluent knowledge and understanding of legal terms used in the court system.
  6. Analyze and interpret legal documents relating to areas of substantive law resulting in the production of legal documents from origination to cessation.
  7. Integrate research abilities and case tracking skills necessary to efficiently process a case through the court system.


  • Mary Stoos earned her Legal Secretary degree from the Winona Area Technical Institute, now known as Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical. She began working at Southeast Technical College as an adjunct instructor in 1999. Mary has worked in the legal field for over 30 years. She has worked in both private and government law offices and is currently employed full time as a legal administrative assistant for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. Due to the unique situation of having a legal instructor who is employed full time in the legal community, legal students are presented with actual case situations and up-to-date forms/technology currently used in law offices. Because of the instructor's contact within the legal community, students are afforded the opportunity to job shadow in local law offices, court administration, county attorney offices, public defender offices and legal services offices. Attorneys and court staff volunteer their time to speak to the students giving factual case scenarios. Students are given the opportunity to observe traffic and criminal court, including testimony in a civil trial and traffic arraignments. Contact Mary at mstoos@southeastmn.edu

Career Opportunities

  • Legal Administrative Assistant
  • Legal Secretary
  • Law Office Receptionist
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Court Clerk

Program Highlights

  • Acquire skills to be a productive member of the legal office team
  • Learn how to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Job shadow at various legal office settings to see what best interests you
  • Use updated technology that parallels what is used in current law offices for legal document assembly
  • Work at your own pace in the Combined Courses Lab
  • Transfer within the administrative support programs into a career in legal, medical or administrative office