Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
PL 124
Course Title:
Law Office Management
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers law office organization and management, personnel management, basic accounting, procedural and automated systems, and other aspects of law office management. Prerequisites/concurrent: PL 101. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course focuses on general management and administrative concepts, and the application of those concepts to law office management, in order to develop a pool of knowledge that can be utilized in creating and maintaining a support system for the firm, thus enabling the lawyer to provide more efficient, more economical, and better service to the public.  A core course, required for a Paralegal Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

1. Identify transferable skills from prior employment to use in law offices.

2.  Analyze ethical situations and apply solutions for avoiding ethics violations.

3.  Perform conflict checks for typical law office fact situations to ensure law firms do not represent clients' interests that are adverse to each other, and other similar potential conflicts.

4.  Perform docketing and calendaring.

5.  Create time sheets and apply ethical principles to timekeeping and billing.

6.  Create and balance trust account ledgers.

Course Activities and Design

The methodology used is lecture with discussion encouraged.  No current, inexpensive textbook is available -- supplementary items include occasional guest lecturers and numerous handouts.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Exams, quizzes, final exam, in class activities, final project.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

This class will introduce some established management theories so that
students may begin to:
*    Identify and apply management theories to actual or hypothetical work situations.
*    Utilize critical thinking regarding the logistics of law office
     management to (re)organize firms to operate more efficiently through
     effective use of goal setting, delegation, motivation, time
     management, and optimal division of labor.
*    Apply computation skills to timekeeping, billing, accounting and
     taxation requirements.
*    Identify personnel problems, establish procedures for dealing with
     them, and use interpersonal relations skills to hire new employees
     and match existing personnel skills to extant tasks.
*    Recognize vendor tactics and deal with them to meet firm
     equipment/supply needs.
*    Utilize oral and written communication skills in all of the above.