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PARALEGAL SCHOOL FEATURE

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The Legal Office Specialist Program at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis, MN
[By Judith Earley] The mission of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) is to help students make their dreams realities. MCTC offers a wide variety of academic programs culminating in certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees. If transferring to a traditional four-year college is your goal, you can do so through many of its programs.

MCTC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 22:. With an enrollment of 0,880, 93% of the student body is from the state of Minnesota; the average student age is 27. 54% of the population is female, and 44% is male. The student populations ethnic breakdown is as follows: White: 52% Black or African American: 29% Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander: 7% Hispanic or Latino: 4% American Indian or Alaska Native: 3% Undisclosed: 6% MCTC offers classes during the day, in the evening, and online. Full- and part-time programs are also available. The schools most popular programs are those providing instruction in liberal arts, nursing, business management, law enforcement, and child development. However, if you are intrigued by the world of law and related legal matters and think you will enjoy expressing yourself in that environment, the Legal Office Specialist Program may be just what you are looking for. According to Dean Mike McGee, Legal Office Specialist is not a paralegal program; it is a certificate program that prepares individuals to work in a legal office as a support person. This program prepares students for employment in the legal industry in positions such as administrative assistant, form processor, general/legal office assistant,
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legal proofreader, legal support specialist, and legal receptionist. Upon completion of the program, certificate holders are able to provide top-notch legal assistance to corporate legal teams and internal employees. For example, a legal office specialist can prepare and maintain corporate records, systems, and documents; track and assist in the management of ongoing legal matters; and maintain litigation schedules. Our program is very unique, continued Dean McGee, in that we worked with a staff member from the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) who helped us assemble representatives of the 2 largest downtown law firms to discuss their specific needs. We then worked with a subgroup of the larger assembly to form a curriculum advisory committee of human resources experts from these firms and set about establishing career program outcomes that would be necessary to meet the workplace needs of these offices. These outcomes became the learning objectives that helped us select both current coursework (from our business technology program) as well as new courses that wed need to develop. The following courses at MCTC equip students with specific concepts and skills as well as broader competencies that will help them to be well rounded in this career area:

BTEC 00 - Fundamentals of Business Computers BTEC 060 - Keyboarding BTEC 60 - Legal Office Procedures BTEC 800 - Business Culture and Communication BTEC 835 - Business English BTEC 900 - Business/Client Relations BTEC 2375 - Written Business Communication BTEC 2730 - The Professional Office BTEC 2775 - Power Keyboarding SPCH 00 - Interpersonal Communication The program went through a rigorous internal academic council approval process and also won approval by our system office of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). It will be a 28-credit certificate called Legal Office Specialist. This award comes from an institution that is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, as opposed to many private colleges that offer legal assistant training but are not accredited, except within their own sphere of institutions, said Dean McGee. If you are interested in using the MCTC certificate program as a stepping stone into a paralegal program, the recipient institution in a student transfer always makes the final determination about which courses it will accept. Some courses will readily transfer, and other course requirements may be satisfied by taking exams at the receiving institution to avoid retaking classes.

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PARALEGAL SCHOOL FEATURE

www.lawcrossing.com

1. 800.973.1177

I do believe this is great preparation for a student, said Dean McGee. The law firm representatives were very excited about the possibility of urban residents, including candidates of color, becoming skilled through our program and thus more available for job opportunities. They also talked about encouraging these kinds of employees to consider careers as lawyers.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College proudly boasts the most diverse student body in the state of Minnesota. If you are seeking a comfortable, welcoming environment and the opportunity to interact with people of all cultures and backgrounds, if you desire to learn from friendly, experienced faculty members and receive support from a knowledgeable, helpful staff, then MCTC is the place for you!

ON THE NET Minneapolis Community and Technical College www.minneapolis.edu The Higher Learning Commission www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development www.deed.state.mn.us

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