Paralegal Schools in Missouri
The colleges and universities in Missouri offer students an opportunity to obtain an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or certificate in paralegal studies. This guide to paralegal schools in Missouri will provide you with the information you need to compare schools and make the best decision for your career goals. In addition to traditional on-campus programs, online paralegal schools may also be a good choice for your educational needs. If you are considering a degree in paralegal/legal studies, our paralegal careers in Missouri guide will provide further information on your career possibilities.
- There are 12 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Missouri.1
- 7 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 4 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 4 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
- 1 school ranked in Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs.2
- 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools in 2022.3
- 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs in 2022.4
- 2 ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Missouri.5
For not-for-profit colleges and universities with paralegal/legal assistant degree programs.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of Paralegal Programs
- Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs in Missouri
- Select Schools in Missouri with Paralegal Degrees
- Student Reviews
Comparison of Paralegal Programs
The table below will help you compare not-for-profit paralegal and legal studies programs in Missouri based on various factors. The table includes the paralegal programs offered, the graduation rate for first-time bachelor’s degree seekers, and the average net price of tuition for in-state students after financial aid awards. We have also included information on approval by the American Bar Association (ABA). While ABA approval is not required in order to work as a paralegal, it is a mark of program quality that is preferred by many employers.
|School||ABA Approved?||Paralegal Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate6||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Median Debt7||Net Price1|
|Avila University (Kansas City)||—||Certificate-Legal Assistant;|
|Culver-Stockton College (Canton)||—||BS-Legal Studies||52%||52%||—||$16,753||$21,096|
|Drury University-College of Continuing Professional Studies (Springfield)||—||AS-Paralegal Studies||64%||12%||—||$13,821||$12,720|
|Metropolitan Community College (Kansas City)||—||AAS-Paralegal Practice||N.Av.||23%||—||$5,251||$6,997|
|Missouri Southern State University (Joplin)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Missouri Western State University (Saint Joseph)||Yes||Certificate-Legal Studies;|
BS-Criminal Justice: Legal Studies;
|Rockhurst University (Kansas City)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies||64%||76%||—||$16,736||$22,688|
|St. Louis Community College (Bridgeton)||—||Certificate of Proficiency-Legal Studies for the Paralegal;|
AAS-Legal Studies for the Paralegal
|University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg)||—||Certificate-Paralegal||65%||74%||Yes||$14,827||$13,098|
|Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis)||—||Master of Legal Studies||94%||14%||Yes||$18,500||$27,233|
|Webster University (St. Louis)||Yes||Undergradaute Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
Graduate Certificate-Paralegal Studies
|William Woods University (Fulton)||—||BS-Paralegal Studies||64%||58%||Yes||$13,902||$23,663|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs
Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs 2018
- William Woods University (#7)
US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools 2022
- Washington University in St. Louis (#16 tie)
US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022
- Washington University in St. Louis (#80 tie)
Select Schools in Missouri with Paralegal Degrees
At Missouri Western State University (MWSU), students are able to pursue an Associate of Science (AS) degree with a major in Legal Assistant or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Legal Studies. Students who already have an undergraduate degree in another subject may also choose to complete a Legal Assistant Certificate. The programs, all ABA-approved, aim to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the paralegal and legal assistant profession, including critical thinking and legal writing. Students learn practical skills in areas like legal research, interviewing, investigation, and preparing evidence for trial. All students are expected to find their own internship agency from a list of approved organizations in order to complete an internship placement prior to graduation. The Legal Assistant program is a charter member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE). MWSU also offers a Minor in Legal Studies.
The Legal Studies for the Paralegal program at St. Louis Community College (STLCC) offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) and a Certificate of Proficiency (CP) that prepare students for careers as paralegals. Students are introduced to common legal vocabulary and become familiar with Federal and Missouri legislation, pretrial, and trial procedures. Skill development focuses on legal writing, analyzing legal problems, interviewing clients, and preparing legal documents. Select courses in the AAS degree include Report Writing, Civil Litigation, Law Office Management, Legal Research, and Legal Writing. The CP in Legal Studies for the Paralegal requires courses such as Introduction to Law; Computers and the Law; Law Office Management; Civil Litigation; Legal Research; Legal Writing; and 12 hours of electives. The CP can be completed in 33 credit hours and the AAS requires 60 credit hours. Graduates will be qualified to enter careers in private law firms, corporations, and government agencies.
The Webster University Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies is an ABA-approved program. The curriculum encompasses many different substantive areas of law and integrates important professional skills such as technical competency, writing composition, and legal research. The program is designed to prepare students for entry into law school or further study in criminal justice as well as to advance careers for paralegals and legal assistants. Courses include Legal Ethics, Topics in Law, Civil Litigation, Computerized Legal Research, and Tort Law Practices. Instructors in this program are professors who are practicing attorneys and judges from a variety of legal backgrounds, with many who work for the Missouri Court of Appeals, located in St. Louis. The course schedule is designed to accommodate both working adults and traditional full-time students. Courses are offered both online and on campus. Webster also offers a minor in Legal Studies, an online Master of Arts (MA) in Legal Studies, an Undergraduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies, and an online Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies.
Do well in your classes and go above and beyond what is required. You never know when your instructor may know of and recommend you for a paralegal position.” –Sandra M. Herdler, Vice President of the American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. and a Senior Paralegal at Krigel & Krigel, PC, Kansas City, Missouri.
Hybrid and Online Programs
Students at Webster University (WU) can earn a 39-credit Master of Arts (MA) in Legal Studies through the College of Arts and Sciences. The St. Louis-area paralegal programs at Webster have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). The program can be completed entirely online or at the St. Louis home campus. Students in the graduate program can concurrently seek an online Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies if they choose, still with a total of 39 required credit hours. The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects in the legal field, with attention given to the different types of legal environments. Core required classes include Jurisprudence, Ethics for the Legal Professional, American Constitutional Law, Civil Actions, and Computerized Legal Research. Students learn about critical thinking strategies, professional conduct standards, and effective written and oral communication skills. Graduates from the MA and Graduate Certificate programs may find career opportunities in different settings of the legal field, ranging from law firms to in-house corporate legal departments to government agencies.
At William Woods University, students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies in a completely online format. Classes are taught in a 14-course sequence following an eight-week schedule. The core curriculum covers everything from fundamental legal theory to the critical thinking skills needed to succeed in the field. In addition to technical concepts such as substantive and procedural law; legal research and writing; law-related computer tools; and legal interviewing, students also learn about professional ethics and interpersonal communication methods. The 42-semester hour program emphasizes practical skills and hands-on lessons through the program’s Virtual Law Office, Practicum course. William Woods is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE), and students can take advantage of resources and support offered through the school’s career center and related professional associations.
St. Charles Community College
4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr
Cottleville, MO 63376
Student Review: “When I first started college I obviously took all my required courses, which was nice as I was still trying to figure out what it was I actually wanted to do. After my first semester I had it stuck in my head that I wanted to be a police officer, and after talking to a counselor she instructed me that I should pursue criminal justice. The teacher was very good but a lot of what they were teaching (to me at least) seemed menial to what I was wanting to do as a career. After a few semesters, I knew that it was not a class that I found beneficial to me. I still wanted to be a police officer so I spoke with a different counselor and he told me to try criminology, which is where I really enjoyed my time in class. Not only was it engaging for me, but every day in class was different and the teacher knew how to interact with his students to make learning a bit more ‘fun’.” -Student at St. Charles Community College
470 E Lockwood Ave
Webster Groves, MO 63119
Student Review: “Webster University was an awesome experience for me. As a veteran of the military I found that they were very accepting and very professional in all ways. Being in the Paralegal Studies Program was very challenging and very rewarding. I did not have one professor that was not on point. One of my professors that also was the head of the department encouraged me to continue my legal education and attend law school, which I am now in my 1st year. With Webster being an ABA-accredited institution for Paralegal Studies I have found that the education that I received from there was top notch and prepared me for Law School.” -Student at Webster University
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs: https://www.paralegal411.org/degrees/bachelors/online/
3. US News & World Report Best Law Schools 2022: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings
4. US News & World Report Best Legal Writing Programs 2022: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/legal-writing-rankings
5. American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/
6. Niche: https://www.niche.com/
7. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Ranking ROI of 4,500 US Colleges and Universities: https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/CollegeROI/