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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.

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

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 assistant, 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.

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.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in Missouri

An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Drury University (Springfield)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies (online)
Minor | Law and Society
Program | Pre-Law

Maryville University (St. Louis)*
Program | Pre-Law

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

Missouri Southern State University (Joplin)
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies (online)
Minor | Paralegal Studies
Minor | Paralegal Studies (online)
Pre-Professional Program | Pre-Law

Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph)*
Associate of Science | Legal Assistant
Bachelor of Science | CJ: Legal Studies
Certificate | Legal Assistant
Minor | Legal Studies

Rockhurst University (Kansas City)
Minor | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Pre-Professional Program | Pre-Law

St. Louis Community College (Kirkwood; St. Louis)
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Studies for the Paralegal
Certificate of Proficiency | Legal Studies for the Paralegal

Webster University (St. Louis)*
Bachelor of Arts | Legal Studies
Master of Arts | Legal Studies
Minor | Legal Studies
Graduate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Undergraduate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Pre-Professional Program | Pre-Law

William Woods University (Fulton)
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies (online)
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies (transfer)
Bachelor of Arts | Political/Legal Studies: Pre-Law
Minor | Political/Legal Studies

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

References:
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