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Missouri Paralegal Schools

Missouri employed 4,970 paralegals in 2014, with the highest concentration being in St. Louis, Springfield, and Kansas city.1 Missouri paralegal schools train aspirants in one of the fastest growing fields in the United States, one that is expected to add nearly many more positions between now and 2022. While a paralegal cannot perform duties within the scope of the practice of law in Missouri, they are able to perform other duties for law firms and private and public sector companies. Earning a paralegal degree in Missouri can help you enter this promising and rewarding career field.

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How to Become a Paralegal in Missouri

In order to become a paralegal in the state of Missouri, aspirants can choose whether to start with a degree or try to get hired at a legal office to receive on-the-job training. While Missouri does not currently have any specific regulations for this process, the Missouri Bar Association does advocate for certain educational requirements, and encourages law firms and its members to hire people with an education in paralegal studies. Either way, paralegals in Missouri must work under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney who takes responsibility for them, and are not able to give legal advice on their own.

Missouri Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

Paralegals in Missouri average $42,270 per year, which is a little lower than average.1 In the St. Louis area, however, Missouri paralegals made an average of over $50,000 per year in 2014, which was higher than the national average.1 Furthermore, the cost of living in Missouri is 8.9% lower than the rest of the country, making it an affordable place to live.3 The overall outlook for Missouri paralegals is positive, with an increase of 20.1% expected by the year 2022.2

ABA-Approved Paralegal Schools in Missouri

There are three Missouri paralegal schools that have been approved by the American Bar Association. They include:

  • Maryville University in St. Louis offers a legal studies bachelor’s degree with a concentration in paralegal studies.
  • Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph offers an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, and a certificate in paralegal studies.
  • Webster University in St. Louis offers a bachelor’s degree, a minor in legal studies, a master’s degree, an undergraduate and a graduate paralegal certificate.

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Missouri

Maryville University: The Social Sciences Department at Maryville University has an American Bar Association-approved Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies as well as a non-ABA approved Minor. 12 courses are dedicated to the major and required core classes include Introduction to Law, Legal Ethics, Inter & Investigation, Legal Research and Writing (I and II), and Civil Litigation. Students must also complete a seminar course and an internship through which they can earn 3 to 12 credits. All seven faculty members possess a Juris Doctor and have extensive and broad experience in the legal field.

Missouri Western State University: The Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies and Social Work at Missouri Western State University has three American Bar Association-approved programs: a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice with a legal studies emphasis, an Associate of Science in legal asssistant, and a legal assistant certificate. Students pursuing a BS can choose the three year degree plan in which they take classes during the summer. All students enroll in Paralegal Studies, Legal Research, Litigation, Legal Computer Applications and Advanced Legal Research. 13 full-time and part-time professors and instructors teach within the Legal Studies programs at MWSU.

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Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Missouri

Bryan Cave LLP is a global business and litigation firm with 24 international offices. Its headquarters are in St. Louis, where over 245 attorneys work for the firm. Bryan Cave advocates for and advises its clients according to its core values of commitment, diversity, and excellence. Bryan Cave provides comprehensive benefits, development opportunities, and an engaging workplace, and frequently seeks out paralegals to join its team. Armstrong Teasdale is one of the AmLaw 250 law firms thanks to its innovative approach to representation and legal practice in general. Armstrong Teasdale maintains the technology required to allow its employees flexible work arrangements, competitive training, and other programs that benefit its team. Armstrong Teasdale seeks out the best paralegal talent available. Thompson Coburn LLP practices in over 50 areas of law, and has tried the longest jury trial as well as one of the largest civil suits in US history. Thompson Coburn is highly ranked by US News, The American Lawyer, and Corporate Board Member. Thompson Coburn offers its paralegals an attractive benefits package in addition to providing an accessible and cooperative work environment.

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Paralegal Schools and Programs in Missouri

Drury University (Springfield, MO)
Associate in Science | Paralegal Studies

Everest College (Springfield, MO)
Associate of Science | Paralegal
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal

Hickey College (Saint Louis, MO)
Associate Degree | Legal Administration
Associate Degree | Paralegal

Maryville University of Saint Louis (Saint Louis, MO)
Bachelor of Arts | Legal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Legal Studies: Law and Society
Bachelor of Arts | Legal Studies: Paralegal Studies

Metropolitan Community College (Independence, MO; Kansas City, MO; Lees Summit, MO)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Practice

Missouri Southern State University (Joplin, MO)
Certificate | Paralegal

National American University (Independence, MO; Kansas City, MO)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies

Rockhurst University (Kansas City, MO)
Certificate | Paralegal

Sanford Brown College (Fenton, MO)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Specialized Business | Paralegal Studies

St. Louis Community College (Kirkwood, MO; Saint Louis, MO)
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate of Proficiency | Paralegal

Stevens Institute of Business & Arts (Saint Louis, MO)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies

William Woods University (Fulton, MO)
Bachelor Degree | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor Degree | Political/Legal Studies

Additional Resources:

Missouri Paralegal Association – The Show-Me-State’s organization of paralegals dedicated to preserving and growing the profession.

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm#ind
2. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Sperling’s Best Places, Missouri: http://www.bestplaces.net/state/missouri