LOA101 - Introduction to Legal Office Applications

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:57:39.504
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:58:01.042

Subject Title
Introduction to Legal Office Applications

Subject Description
Students are introduced to the legal office environment including legal terminology, areas of law, professional organizations, law office accounting and records management.

Students learn how to prepare legal correspondence and legal documents common to many areas of law such as Powers of Attorney, Statutory Declarations and Affidavits. They also learn how to prepare accounts, trust ledger statements and dockets manually and by using PC Law. Students must obtain an average net keyboarding speed of 50 wpm on three five-minute timed writings to graduate from the Seneca Law Clerk Diploma program.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject applicable towards:

The Administrative Assistant - Legal Certificate Program;
The Seneca Law Clerk Diploma Program offered through the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Apply procedural theory with written and verbal instructions to produce high quality legal documents, correspondence, memoranda and accounts;

2. Use appropriate style and format required to produce legal documents, correspondence, memoranda and accounts;

3. Interpret written and verbal instructions correctly when preparing accounting documentation using PC Law;

4. Use precedents as guides when creating new and procedurally correct legal documents, correspondence, etc.

5. Input documents correctly on disk using appropriate word processing techniques;

6. Apply the correct English grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and word division rules to all practical assignments and proof-read effectively by identifying and correcting such errors in documents;

7. Produce all required assignments and tests to high quality business standards within prescribed time limits, including the identification and correction of language and procedural errors in source documents;

8. Follow verbal and written instructions in class and on homework assignments and tests.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Course content and your instructor's teaching assumes that students are academically prepared and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or advanced standing for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

Topic Outline
Part A - Standard Document Production

1.  Create and complete standard documentation including retainers, authorizations, directions, acknowledgements, and Affidavits of Service.

2.  Create and maintain a filing system.

3.  Produce legal correspondence using full-block, semi-block and block letter styles with mixed/open punctuation and enclosures.

4.  Draft legal correspondence using legal phraseology.

5.  Produce envelopes and labels.

6.  Prepare templates for fax cover sheets.

7.  Create templates and use existing templates to complete interoffice memoranda, and memoranda of law.

8.  Prepare indices of legal citations and statutes for briefs of authorities.

9.  Create and maintain dockets.

10. Create and complete standard accounts and trust ledger statements.

Part B - PC Law

Use basic features of PC Law including setting up lawyers' rates, inserting dockets, creating cheques and paying invoices, recovering expenses from the client, preparation of pre-bills and final accounts, undoing final accounts without trust funds and re-creating  accounts.

Mode of Instruction
Students learn through classroom lectures, hands-on assignments and homework assignments. Students are required to complete assignments and to practice the skills they have learned in the lab.
Any matters covered in class and/or in the assigned readings will constitute part of the subject matter content and be eligible for inclusion on all assessments. It is ESSENTIAL that students read assigned material before class and make careful notes on the reading material as well as in-class lectures and discussion. It is extremely important for students to be prepared for class and to be actively involved in discussions as this greatly aids the learning process.  

It is your responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on Blackboard or in class. Students will not be able to access Blackboard as of the last day of the student's class. 

Prescribed Texts
Winterstein, Louise, Procedures  for the Canadian Legal Office . Text/Workbook and CD Act. Nelson College Indigenous,  ISBN#9780176449254
Bedford, Jennie,  Legal Keys: Keyboarding Drills & Terminology.  Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman. 3rd ed. ISBN# 9780986756603
The Gregg Reference Manual.  Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, ISBN# 9780071051156

NOTE: Photocopied texts are not permitted.

Reference Material
Dukelow and Nuse, Pocket Dictionary of Canadian Law.  Toronto: Carswell 

Required Supplies
Notebook, pen, small stapler, highlighter, USBs and two file folders with inside pockets

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Term Test 1 25%
Term Test 2 25%
Lab Assignments 15%
Final Exam 35%

Some aids may be allowed during testing and will be identified by the instructor.
Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

Please Note

Since this is a professional credit course, marking standards reinforce professional practice in demanding legible, neat documents. Keyed material should be correctly formatted and grammatically correct as a result of accurate proof-reading, proper spelling and punctuation. 
In recognition of the significance of proper language and proofreading skills in the work of a law clerk,  marks are deducted, in accordance with departmental policy, for language errors on all tests, assignments and exams.  (i.e. spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence and paragraph structure, etc.).


  • Students must retain a duplicate of all assignments.
  • Assignments must be handed in on the scheduled due date.
  • If assignments are handed in late without sufficient medical or other reason, which must be reasonably documented and approved, 2 marks per day will be deducted for each day the assignment is late.
  • Assignments will not be accepted after the return of graded assignments to the class.

Absenteeism and Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you miss a test, you must provide the reason in writing to the instructor prior to the next scheduled class. If your reason is accepted, you will be permitted to write a make-up test. Otherwise, you will be given a zero for the test. You must submit an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time of expected absence and the specific reason for your absence, or other appropriate documentation.

Field Placement

Students who do not successfully complete all required professional courses may be ineligible to commence field placement requirements.

Word Processing/Keeping Copies of Assignments

Written assignments must be word processed. At the professor’s discretion, assignments that are not word processed, may be subject to mark deduction or not accepted.  The student must retain a copy of all assignments because assignments may be misplaced.  In such a case it is the responsibility of the student to submit a duplicate assignment for evaluation. 

Academic Honesty

Students at Seneca College are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavours.  When students cheat on an examination, steal the words or ideas of another, or falsify their research results, it corrupts the learning process. A Seneca College degree, diploma or certificate signifies to society mastery of a set of defined learning outcomes in a designated field of study. If academic credit is obtained dishonestly, the value of every graduate's diploma in the field of study is diminished, as is the reputation of the college as a whole. 

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

The penalty for a first offence is a grade of ‘0’ on the assignment or examination. The penalty for a second offence is expulsion for a time period determined by the Academic Honesty Committee, normally for a minimum of three terms.

For further information refer to the policies section of the Seneca College student handbook, or to the following website: http://library.senecacollege.ca/Academic_Honesty/.

Please Note: In the Seneca Law Clerk Diploma program, students are required to complete twenty (20) days of field placement and must achieve an average net keyboarding speed of at least 50 wpm on three five-minute timed writings, with  5 errors or less.

Approved by: Sandra Noble