The Department of Legal Assistant Education, initiated by the OU Law Center in 1968, reflects the growing importance of legal assistants (paralegals) in the law profession. Legal assistants perform a variety of crucial tasks, including legal research, drafting legal documents, and interviewing clients.
Our curriculum stresses understanding and reasoning rather than rote learning of facts. Our legal specialty courses are taught by practicing lawyers and legal assistants who bring their real-world experience into the classroom.
The legal assistant certificate program is flexible and convenient, with Saturday courses and independent study options available.
Graduates from the Legal Assistant Education program will be qualified to work with lawyers in public and private law practice, in the judiciary, corporations and government. The curriculum stresses understanding and reasoning, rather than rote learning of facts and information. Graduates will be qualified to perform a variety of tasks, including legal research and drafting legal documents.
A legal assistant, or paralegal, is trained to work under the general supervision of a lawyer, performing tasks which traditionally have been performed by lawyers. The responsibilities of the legal assistant are professional and distinct from routine clerical duties. In the performance of these various tasks, the legal assistant, lawyer and clerical staff provide increased efficiency in the delivery of legal services to the client. The legal assistant may interview clients, research legal issues, prepare documents and assist in litigation, allowing the supervising lawyer to provide quality representation at lower cost to the client.
Legal assistants cannot give legal advice, accept cases, set legal fees, represent clients in court or perform any legal service without the supervision of a licensed lawyer.