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South Dakota Paralegal Schools

South Dakota paralegal schools offer students the ability to earn a paralegal degree in one of America’s fastest growing fields in spite of the recession, and learn how to assist attorneys and handle a number of matters involving legal casework on their own. While South Dakota paralegal aspirants can’t offer legal advice or represent clients, they can play a key role in how a case is developed.

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Profiles of Well Known Schools

National American University – Sioux Falls: The National American University – Sioux Falls offers two American Bar Association approved Paralegal Studies programs: a Bachelor of Science and an Associate of Applied Science. With a mandatory internship, paralegal studies students will gain valuable professional experience and be ready for employment upon graduation. With a technology centered curriculum, students become skilled legal researchers with both traditional and electronic sources. Due to National American University spanning across the continental United States, many courses are now being offered online to meet the demands of the growing study body.

Western Dakota Technical Institute: Western Dakota Technical Institute’s Legal and Public Services Programs include an American Bar Association approved Paralegal/Leal Assistant Associates in Applied Science. This 72 hours, 18-month program generates skilled graduates that are ready to pursue one of the 20 fastest growing professions in the United States today. The core major courses include Introduction to Paralegalism, Torts, Criminal Law, Real Property, Legal Research and Writing (I and II), and Contracts. The required internship course is seven credits and involves 280 work hours in a law office.

How to Become a Paralegal in South Dakota

There are a number of schools that offer associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree programs to offer educational opportunities to become a paralegal in South Dakota. Coursework in these programs includes legal research and writing courses, applications of computers for database and case research and an understanding of basic contracts, tort law and litigation for most schools. Paralegal students can augment those with elective courses in domestic law or business practices to expand their value to law firms.

Paralegal Schools in South Dakota

There are two paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association. At Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City, there is an A.A.S. program to become a paralegal in South Dakota that takes 18 months and requires an internship. National American University offers A.A.S. And bachelor’s degree programs, with locations in Rapid City, Ellsworth AFB, Sioux Falls and Watertown. Online options for those who can’t make it to either set of campuses include associate’s degree programs at Kaplan University and Westwood College.

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Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in South Dakota

The Bangs McCullen Law Firm was founded in the Dakota Territory before South Dakota became a state, and has developed with changing legal theory and technology to become one of the most respected law firms in South Dakota today. The firm’s attorneys work in a variety of practice areas from its offices in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. Bangs McCullen regularly recruits for paralegals. Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith LLP is one of the largest law firms in South Dakota, and has grown its practice by listening to its clients’ needs. Davenport Evans invites qualified paralegals to inquire about opportunities with the firm. Gunderson Palmer Nelson Ashmore LLP partners with its clients to provide solutions to their needs, and prides itself on its experience in various areas of the law. Gunderson Palmer frequently recruits for paralegals to join its team.

South Dakota Paralegal Salary

Starting compensation for a paralegal in South Dakota can begin around $28,000, but there are regular opportunities for advancement that lead to an average wage of about $38,000 and continue to more than $50,000. Much of the disparity in the range of salaries comes from the many opportunities available in finance departments, government agencies and of course, law firms.

Online and South Dakota Paralegal Schools

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Paralegal Schools in South Dakota

Globe University (Sioux Falls, SD)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies (online program)
Bachelor Degree | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor Degree | Paralegal Studies (online program)

National American University (Rapid City, SD;Sioux Falls, SD)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies

Western Dakota Tech (Rapid City, SD)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal/Legal Assistant

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.