Iowa Paralegal Schools

Iowa State Paralegal Education Requirements

Iowa paralegal schools offer many opportunities for prospective paralegals, in both on-campus and online paralegal degree programs. The state of Iowa has recognized the important role that paralegals play; in fact, the Supreme Court in Iowa has indicated that, although not required, it is desirable for paralegals to have NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals) certification. Because this certification is important, choose a paralegal program that will aid you in meeting the eligibility requirements for this credential. This includes graduating from a paralegal program that is an ABA approved program, an associate’s degree program, a post-degree certificate program, a bachelor’s degree program, or a legal assistant program that requires a minimum of 60 semester hours, one-quarter of which are legal courses. Another way to meet the requirements for the NALA CLA/CP exam are having a bachelor’s degree in any area plus one year’s experience as a paralegal. Completion of 15 semester hours of legal assistant courses may also equal a year of experience as a paralegal.

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Profiles of Well Known Schools

Des Moines Area Community College: The Des Moines Area Community College offers both a Legal Assistant Certificate and an Associate in Science degree, both approved by the American Bar Association. The Associate of Science consists of a total of 64 credit hours and take two years to complete while the Legal Assistant Certificate is 34 hours and is designed for individuals that already posses a degree. Introduction to Law, Torts and Litigation I, and Legal Research and Writing (I and II) are all core courses for both courses of study. Associate degree students must complete an internship within a legal office while also attending in-class seminars related to their work and professional ethics.

Kirkwood Community College: Both a Paralegal Associate of Arts and an Associate of Science/Career Option degree are offered at Kirkwood Community College. These two year degrees are approved by the American Bar Association and equip graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the paralegal profession. All students are required to complete an internship during their fourth semester within a legal office to gain practical experience before graduation. Students that need assistance in paying for school can apply for the Bradley & Riley PC Legal Assistant/Paralegal Scholarship.

How to Become a Paralegal in Iowa

The state of Iowa does not regulate its 1,500 paralegals. However, in 2003 the Iowa Supreme Court did state that it is much more desirable for aspiring paralegals to be certified through the NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants). The Iowa Association of Legal Assistants and Paralegals (IALA) is a direct affiliate of NALA. There is not an educational or professional standard that must be met in order to become a paralegal in Iowa. An aspiring paralegal can enter the field through an additional venue or by receiving training on the job.

The median salary of paralegals in the state of Iowa is $41,710.00.

Paralegal Schools in Iowa

There are many paralegal degree programs that are offered online in Iowa. Some offer an associate’s degree in paralegal (Virginia College, Stonecliffe College Online, and Westwood College). Some offer an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree (Kaplan University – School of Legal Studies, Hodges University, and Keiser University). Some programs offer a certificate program in addition to their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees (Minnesota School of Business and Post University. George Washington University offers an online Master’s degree (Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies).

There are several campus-based paralegal degree programs in Iowa as well, and two of them are ABA approved. Des Moines Area Community College and Kirkwood Community College both offer an associate’s degree (Legal Assistant Program). Kaplan University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, offers a certificate, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees (programs include paralegal studies, legal studies, legal secretary, paralegal assistant, and pathway to paralegal). Northeast Iowa Community College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and offers an associate’s degree in paralegal.

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Iowa Paralegal Professional Organizations

The Iowa Association of Legal Assistant (IALA) is the main organization for paralegals in this area. It is comprised of eight regions that correspond to the eight judicial districts in Iowa.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Iowa

Nyemaster Goode P.C. is the largest law firm in Iowa, maintaining offices in Des Moines, Ames, and Cedar Rapids. Nyemaster Goode works in multiple practice areas, as a consequence of which the firm was recently named a Go-To Law Firm by Corporate Counsel magazine. Nyemaster Good offers extremely competitive benefits including parking and transportation subsidies and an on-site wellness facility, and regularly looks for paralegals to join its team. Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC is another of Iowa’s largest law firms, with offices across the state. Simmons Perrine is always on the lookout for talented legal assistants. Belin McCormick is a highly respected full service law firm headquartered in Des Moines. This firm puts an emphasis on work life balance and welcomes inquiries about paralegal opportunities.

Iowa Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected significant growth in the paralegal profession – 28% in the decade of 2008-2018, so becoming a paralegal is an excellent career option. The middle 50% of paralegals in Indiana earn between $39,918 and $52,108 annually. This figure varies depending on geographic location and type of position (e.g., working for a large law firm, working for a non-profit organization, etc.).

Online and Iowa Paralegal Schools

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Liberty University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • CERT: Paralegal Studies

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Keiser University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Paralegal Studies, AA (Online Only)
  • Legal Studies, BA (Online)

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Kaplan University - KHE
Campuses: 1Davenport
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science: Paralegal Studies
  • Associate of Applied Science: Paralegal Studies
  • Certificate: Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate

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Globe University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • BS-Paralegal
  • AAS-Paralegal

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Court Reporting Institute
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Legal Assistant - Online

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California University of Pennsylvania
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Master of Science in Legal Studies: Law and Public Policy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence: Legal Studies

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Grand Canyon University
Campuses: 1Online
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    Paralegal Schools in Iowa

    Grand View University (Des Moines, IA)
    Paralegal Degrees Offered:
    Certificate | Paralegal Studies: Business and Human Resource Management
    Certificate | Paralegal Studies: Criminology
    Certificate | Paralegal Studies: Public Administrationt

    Iowa Lakes Community College (Estherville, IA)
    Paralegal Degrees Offered:
    Associate in Arts | Paralegal/Legal Studies
    Associate in Science | Paralegal/Legal Studies

    Kaplan University (Cedar Falls, IA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Council Bluffs, IA; Mason City, IA; Urbandale, IA)
    Paralegal Degrees Offered:
    Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

    Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids, IA)
    Paralegal Degrees Offered:
    Associate of Arts | Paralegal
    Associate of Science | Paralegal

    Page Edited by Charles Sipe.