"Once a student has gone through Lake Michigan College's Legal Office Systems curriculum, they are really ready for the work world," states LMC Legal Office Systems instructor and advisor Lisa Augustiniak. "Hands-on, practical training gives students a high level of proficiency in the office skills they will need to get the job and be successful."
Expectations & Skills Taught
Because today's legal office environment is so heavily dependent on technology, you will become familiar with software programs as well as other high tech tools. Coursework will include instruction in Microsoft XP, Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint.
In the Office Procedures class, you will become familiar with scanners, digital photography and video equipment, video conference equipment, web page development, as well as standard office equipment including fax and copy machines.
Because employers are looking for employees who can work well with clients and co-workers, communication and problem solving skills will be emphasized in classroom work. For example, the final project in Office Procedures will put you in the position of being a consultant. You will visit a local business and observe their office operations. Based on your observations and conversations with the employees, you will prepare a report as to what you think is positive and negative about the workflow setup and how you would improve upon it.
Technology in the Classroom
A variety of technologies are used in conjunction with traditional lecture and hands-on activities. PowerPoint presentations, the Internet, and materials available on Canvas (the College's instructional Intranet) play an important role in class.
Additionally, many of the courses required for the Legal Office Systems certificate and degree require that you do hands-on activities on the computer. Because students have a wide range of abilities and access to computers, many classes have a flexible learning environment where the instructor explains the task to be done, how to do it, and the rest of the class time is open for you to work on the computer at your own pace and ask questions of the instructor as you work.
Open Computer Labs
Many classes in the Legal Office Systems program will have homework that needs to be done on computer. Many assignments can be completed on your home computer or at the many open computer stations on LMC's three campuses.
Getting the Most from the Program
According to Augustiniak, you can get the most out of the program by meeting with your faculty advisor early to build your course schedule. "By finding out what a student's goals are and the time they have available to complete the program, I can help them build a multi-semester plan so they will know what to take when and know when they will graduate."
By keeping in touch with your advisor, you can make sure you are on track and if necessary, your plan can be revised to adjust for any circumstances that may change your available time to complete the program.
You should also take the time to become involved in the full college experience. Meeting other students and taking advantage of campus clubs such as Students in Free Enterprise will make your class work more meaningful and help you build a network of peers with whom to share ideas.