Paralegal Schools in Iowa

Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree in the paralegal field, the paralegal schools in Iowa have a variety of options that may be a match for your skills, interests, and career goals. The paralegal programs available in Iowa include general paralegal programs as well as specialized paralegal programs to prepare students for specialty practice upon graduation. Online paralegal schools are also an option for students interested in launching a paralegal career.

Quick Facts

  • There are 9 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Iowa.1
  • 3 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 6 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 2 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 2 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 2 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
  • 1 school ranked in Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs in 2018.3
  • No schools ranked in College Factual’s Best Colleges Offering Degrees in Legal Professions in 2018.4
  • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Law Schools in 2019.5
  • 1 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree program is in Iowa.6

Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • Iowa State University of Science and Technology (#63 in-state, #46 out-of-state)
  • University of Iowa (#55 in-state, #92 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs 2018

  • Grand View University (#16)

US News Best Law Schools 2019

  • University of Iowa (#27 tie)
  • Drake University (#133 tie)

Schools with Paralegal Programs Approved by the ABA

  • Des Moines Area Community College
    • Paralegal Degree Programs in Iowa

      Des Moines Area Community College

      Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) offers an Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies that combines comprehensive general education courses with specialized legal courses to fully prepare students for entry into the professional workforce as legal assistants or paralegals. Specialty legal courses are offered in many substantive areas of law such as torts, business law, family law, litigation, probate, and income taxation. Courses are offered in both the day and the evening and are held mostly at the DMACC – Des Moines (Urban) campus. The AS in Paralegal Studies program requires 64 credits and includes courses such as Torts and Litigation, Probate Procedure, Mediation, and Criminal and Constitutional Law. DMACC also offers a Legal Studies Certificate program for students who have already completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in another field. Both programs are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

      Kirkwood Community College

      Kirkwood Community College’s Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal Studies provides students with the knowledge and skills to assist lawyers with a variety of legal tasks including document preparation, client interviews, and legal research. This program is excellent preparation for those pursuing a law-related career in private or public legal practice. The two-year program provides a broad overview of several substantive areas of law and legal theory. The mandatory paralegal internship course is a unique opportunity for students to gain valuable experience and foster important networking connections. Kirkwood Community College is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) and the school’s career center offers support for students looking for professional development opportunities.

      Online Paralegal Programs

      Marshalltown Community College

      Marshalltown Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal and an Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal degree. Both programs can be completed entirely online or at Iowa Valley Grinnell, a satellite campus. The AAS program is intended for students interested in graduating and starting work in the paralegal field, while the AA is designed for those interested in transferring academic credit and pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. The core curriculum for both programs teaches students writing and research skills, legal technology, interviewing techniques, and legal ethics. In courses like Torts and Litigation, Business Law, Employment Law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution students learn in a collaborative, team-based educational environment. AAS degree students, whether studying on campus or online, can include a Legal Practicum in the coursework in order to gain real-world work experience before graduating. Marshalltown Community College also provides career counseling and support for graduates.

      Grand View University

      Through Grand View University (GVU), students can earn an online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Paralegal Studies. This program is designed for students who have already completed their associate degree in paralegal studies but are interested in continuing on to earn a bachelor’s degree. GVU has a partnership with Des Moines Area Community College for students to directly transfer from an associate’s to a bachelor’s degree, though GVU also accepts academic credit from other accredited institutions. Students complete 33 credit hours in paralegal studies, 15 credit hours in the common core, and then 18 credit hours in one of three concentrations, depending on their area of interest. The program offers specialty concentrations in Business and Human Resource Management, Criminology, and Public Administration. This program can be completed online on a part-time basis for students who are working professionals or in an accelerated format with evening and alternate Saturday classes. Graduates from the BA program can go on to work as paralegals, legal assistants, and in related roles in government agencies, law firms, businesses, and community service legal programs.

      Student Reviews

      Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

      Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)
      1100 7th St
      Des Moines, IA 50314
      (800) 362-2127

      Student Review: “My experience at DMACC was a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. Not only were the teachers actual lawyers, but they were willing and ready to share their experience in the legal world. The classes I took were the same subjects that were taught at law school and prepared you for the field. The downside was the many hours you had to devote to studying, more than your average field of study. Some weeks I studied 20 hours while taking just 2 classes a week while working full time. But the best part was the internship I took while still going to school. And through guidance, my teachers helped me and my classmates not only navigate us through our internships but pushed us hard to learn what was expected of us, once we did get a job. Overall, I would recommend becoming a paralegal.” – Student at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)

      1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
      2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
      3. Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs: https://www.paralegal411.org/degrees/bachelors/online/
      4. College Factual’s Best Colleges Offering Degrees in Legal Professions in 2018: https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/legal-studies-and-professions/rankings/top-ranked//
      5. US News Best Law Schools 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings
      6. American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/