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Student demonstrates keyboarding and transcription skills in boardroom.

Legal Assistant

Closed for Fall 2018

Length: 2 Years
Credential: Diploma
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Prepare for a career as a legal assistant working in a law firm, the court system or for a corporation by training in legal software, critical office skills and the preparation of legal documents for many areas of law, including real estate, corporate and litigation.

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Tuition and Fees Per Year*

Year 1: $4,584
Year 2: $4,764
Year 1 (International): $15,158
Year 2 (International): $15,867

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


You will be offered admission to this program if you meet the admission requirements and qualify through competitive entry. Competitive entry is based on a two-step process: academic ranking and an in-person panel interview, if required. 

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2018 are accepted Oct. 18, 2017 until March 1, 2018.
  • Applications for fall 2019 open Oct. 3, 2018.
TermProgram start
Fall 2018 Sept. 4, 2018
Fall 2019 Sept. 3, 2019 

Program Details

Program Description

Prepare for a career in the legal profession with SAIT's Legal Assistant diploma. Discover how to be an integral part of a legal practice with highly specialized legal administrative skills. In this practical two-year diploma, your instructors are lawyers and former legal assistants who show you how to assist your lawyer with important tasks on various files. Using industry software on your SAIT-issued laptop, you develop accurate keyboarding and transcription skills - and adapt your strong command of English spelling and grammar to effectively prepare various legal documents.

In your substantive courses, you master relevant terminology for corporate law, real estate law, family law, criminal law and more. You practice legal assistant tasks such as preparing a separation agreement, a criminal law file and a corporate minute book. In your capstone course, you simulate a real law office to integrate all your legal assistant knowledge. At the end of the program, you demonstrate your professionalism and expertise to potential employers in your one month practicum placement. You graduate as a skilled legal assistant and highly employable in law firms and the court system.

Fast Facts

  • Two-year diploma
  • Fall start
  • Laptop-based program using SAIT-issued laptops
  • Includes a four-week unpaid practicum placement
  • Limited number of courses available through Continuing Education

Your Career

You can become a legal assistant, junior paralegal, judicial clerk or another legal support role. You can find work in law firms, the court system, registries, and with businesses such as oil and gas corporations.

Student Success

To be successful in this program, you should:

  • Attend and actively participate in class
  • Spend six hours per week on each course, outside of regular class time
  • Have a strong command of the English language along with a solid foundation in writing skills and vocabulary, which will be further developed in the program
  • Have good organizational skills and attention to detail, which are necessary in the program and as a Legal Assistant
  • Have strong computer skills and a keyboarding speed of 30 words per minute (strongly recommended)
  • Be prepared to work in teams
  • Become familiar with and adhere to SAIT's academic policies

If you are engaged in campus life and take advantage of SAIT support services, you may have a greater chance of success in SAIT's programs.

Credentials and accreditation

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will receive a SAIT Legal Assistant diploma.

Transfer Options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:

  • Athabasca University
  • Royal Roads University
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

To learn more, visit transfer options.

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2018 start: applications are accepted Oct. 18, 2017 until March 1, 2018.
  • Fall 2019 start: applications open Oct. 3, 2018.

Admission Requirements

At least 50% in the following courses or equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2,
  • Math 10C or Math 20-3 or Applied Math 10 or Pure Math 10.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Competitive Entry: Seven Step Process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines. 

Applications and proof of the admission requirements (transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) must be submitted by March 1 to be included in selection. If you apply after March 1, you will be placed on a waitlist and contacted if a seat becomes available.

Early admission will be offered on a continuous basis until the program has been filled or selection begins.

  • Applicants who have achieved — or will achieve — a minimum of 70% in English 30-1 or equivalent will be academically ranked and offers will be extended accordingly.
  • Early admission will be offered until March 1 or until the program is full. If you are not offered admission based on the early admission criteria, you will be required to complete the selection process and will be emailed selection information starting in February.

In the selection process, applicants will be invited to attend a brief in-person panel interview.

  • Applicants will be given two weeks' notice of the scheduled interview, when possible, to allow time for preparation. Given the volume of applicants, our interview schedule has limited flexibility.

During the interview, you'll be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Your current resumé,
  • Your communication skills and professionalism,
  • You will be asked to write an impromptu paragraph on a selected topic at the interview.

The rubric will be provided by email to applicants prior to the interview.  

  • Applicants who complete selection will be given a cumulative score and ranked accordingly. Seats will be offered to the highest ranked.
  • Once the program is full, candidates will be placed on a ranked waitlist, based on their selection performance.
  • Those who do not achieve a minimum score to be determined by the overall quality of applicants will be declined.

Step 4: Apply to the Legal Assistant program and submit your transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "In Selection."

Step 6: Attend the panel interview and submit your resumé.

Step 7: Continue to monitor changes to your application status through mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication During Selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add business.advising@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages. 


Program Outline

  • SAIT students are offered an opportunity to develop lifelong learning skills in an online environment. One or more courses in the program are offered fully or partially online.

First Year

Semester 1

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
LEGA-205 Keyboard Skill Building 3.0
LEGA-215 Legal Computer Applications I 3.0
ENGL-205 Grammar and Proofreading 3.0
LEGL-200 Introduction to Law 3.0
LEGL-210 Corporate Law 3.0
Semester 1 Total 15.0


Semester 2

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
LEGA-255 Law Office Procedures 3.0
LEGA-265 Legal Computer Applications II 3.0
LEGL-250 Legal Writing I 3.0
LEGL-260 Litigation Law I 3.0
LEGL-270 Real Estate Law I 3.0
Semester 2 Total 15.0
First Year Total 30.0

Second Year

Semester 3

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
LEGA-305 Legal Transcription 3.0
LEGL-300 Legal Writing II 3.0
LEGL-310 Litigation Law II 3.0
LEGL-320 Real Estate Law II 3.0
MNGT-250 Organizational Behaviour 3.0
Semester 3 Total 15.0


Semester 4

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
LEGA-355 Law Office Simulation 3.0
LEGA-365 Legal Computer Applications III 3.0
LEGL-350 Criminal Law 3.0
LEGL-360 Family Law 3.0
LEGL-380 Wills and Estate Law 3.0
Semester 4 Total 15.0


Semester 5

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
PRCT-385 Law Office Practicum 1.5
Semester 5 Total 1.5
Second Year Total 31.5
Program Total 61.5


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.


Domestic Tuition and Fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2018/19 total
1 $3,611 $450 $523 $4,584
2 $3,791 $450 $523 $4,764

International Tuition and Fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2018/19 total
1 $14,185 $450 $523 $15,158
2 $14,894 $450 $523 $15,867


Campus Athletic and Recreation Fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $290

SAIT Students' Association Fees

Health Plan: $110**
Dental Plan: $125**
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): $288

Books and Supplies*

  • Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 per year.
  • A $400 security deposit to use a SAIT issued laptop.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
** For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.

Contact Information

School of Business

Inspiring Stories

Kendall grew up in Cranbrook, British Columbia and chose to attend SAIT's Legal Assistant program because of the high employment rate and SAIT being located in Calgary. Kendall loves her time at SAIT, the content she is learning and the friends she has made along her academic journey.

Her biggest accomplishment at SAIT is being elected the President of the Legal Assistant Society. Thanks to this role, Kendall is gaining substantial experience outside the classroom in time management, leadership, and event planning.

As a passionate legal professional, Linda goes above and beyond expectations to ensure SAIT's Legal Assistant students gain the foundation and fundamental knowledge of the legal system. The legal industry is constantly changing, and Linda makes sure to stay up-to-date on changes by communicating with top law firms regularly.

As SAIT's Practicum Coordinator for the Legal Assistant program, Linda prepares, coaches, and locates practicum positions for students — ensuring each is just the right fit.

Kendall Aikins
Legal Assistant | 2018

"You really learn at SAIT. I'm not just memorizing information for a test — what I learn in the classroom is interesting and relevant to what I'll need to know when I go into industry".

Linda Gardner
Instructor and Practicum Coordinator | Legal Assistant program | SAIT Instructor since 1998

"The legal industry loves SAIT grads. Seeing industry preferring a SAIT Legal Assistant grad over students from similar programs makes me so proud."

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