10 Best Paralegal Schools inIowa

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If you want to start a non-lawyer career in the legal field, the paralegal profession is worth exploring.

Paralegals are usually responsible for a variety of tasks in a legal office, including:

  • Maintaining and organizing files
  • Conducting legal research
  • Drafting documents
  • Investigating and gathering facts of a case
  • Getting affidavits and other formal statements that can be used as evidence in court
  • Helping lawyers during trials
  • And more

Before being ready for employment as a paralegal you will need an associate’s degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor’s degree in a different field and a certificate in paralegal studies.

On this page, we will compile information about the best paralegal training programs in Iowa.

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Get information on Paralegal programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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1Des Moines Area Community College

About the School

Des Moines Area Community College provides programs and learning areas organized into 10 academic and career-focused pathways.

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

The following legal programs are available:

  • Training- long-term- 3-12 months
  • Training- short-term- 6 weeks/3 months

The available courses include:

  • Family Mediation
  • Court Interpreter
  • Federal Court Interpreter
  • And more

The short-term courses include:

  • Workplace Law Essentials
  • Real Estate Law
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legal Terminology
  • Law Office Management
  • Business Entity Formation
  • Contracts
  • Contracts for Business Owners
  • And more

The online short-term courses are available in two types of formats:

Instructor-led courses can be completed in six weeks or self-paced courses to be completed in three months.

Contact Information

  • Address: 2006 South Ankeny Boulevard, Ankeny, Iowa 50023
  • Phone: 515-964-6200
  • Website: https://www.dmacc.edu

2Grand View University

Grand View University provides a variety of academic programs.

Courses Offered

The university provides a Paralegal Studies Major.

Students who have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies have the opportunity to advance their education with a bachelor’s degree.

This is the only college in Iowa offering a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies.

The following concentrations are available:

  • Business & Human Resource Management Concentration
  • Criminal Justice Concentration

The common core includes courses such as:

  • Entrepreneurship and Business Fundamentals
  • Internship
  • Writing for Business
  • Organizational Behavior
  • And more

Students must also complete 18 credit concentrations from the following choices:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Principles of Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Staffing, Training, and Development
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Employment Law and Labor Relations
  • And more

Contact Information

3Iowa Lakes Community College

About the School

Iowa Lakes Community College offers a variety of academic programs that prepare career-ready students.

The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:15.

Programs are available for students who want to complete an AA or AS degree, for those who want to transfer to a four-year college or university, and for those who want to enter the workforce directly.

Courses Offered

The college provides a Paralegal & Legal Studies, AAS.

This program teaches the practical skills needed to perform legal tasks while earning an Associate in Applied Science degree.

Students learn about wills, lawsuits, and other legal situations.

Learners become competent in evaluating cases, conducting client and witness interviews, drafting court pleadings and motions, performing legal research, preparing legal documents, managing and organizing cases, and helping attorneys prepare for trials and hearings.

Students attend a law-office internship where they gain experience in writing wills and drafting lawsuits.

The Paralegal curriculum includes courses such as:

  • Intro to Law and Paralegal
  • Legal Ethics
  • Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Torts and Litigation
  • Contract Law
  • Wills, Trusts, and Estate Admin
  • Legal Writing
  • Business Law
  • Income Tax Accounting
  • And more

Contact Information

  • Address: 2111 HWY 169 North, Algona, Iowa 50511
  • Phone: 800-242-5106 or 800-242-5108
  • Website: https://iowalakes.edu

4Kirkwood Community College

About the School

Kirkwood Community College provides more than 140 majors and programs.

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

The college provides a Paralegal program that prepares students who can prepare a crucial role in the legal profession by assisting attorneys in all areas of the law.

The Paralegal Studies program prepares students for entry-level positions in the paralegal profession.

The job-ready A.A. or A.A.S. degree can also serve as a springboard to a bachelor’s degree and law school.

The curriculum includes classes such as:

  • Introduction to Law
  • Fundamentals of Legal Research & Writing
  • Civil Litigation
  • Contracts
  • Investigation for Paralegals
  • Real Estate Law
  • Employment Law Topics
  • Constitutional Law
  • Administrative Law
  • And more

Contact Information

5Western Iowa Tech Community College

About the School

Western Iowa Tech Community College is a community college serving the Iowa counties of Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Monona, Plymouth, and Woodbury.

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

Among many other programs, the college’s catalog includes:

  • Legal Secretary Diploma
  • Paralegal/Legal Assistant- Advanced Standing Part-Time Diploma
  • Paralegal/Legal Assistant A.A.S.

The A.A.S. program can be completed in two years and is available in Sioux City.

The program teaches the legal knowledge and administrative skills students need in order to serve as paralegals.

The courses focus on realistic projects, case studies, and practical application of classroom instruction.

The program includes 69 credits.

Students take classes such as:

  • Introduction to Law
  • Legal Ethics
  • Business Law
  • Legal Research
  • Wills, Trusts, and Estate Admin
  • Legal Writing
  • Torts and Litigation
  • Contract Law
  • Civil Procedure and Practice
  • And more

This program costs approximately $14,000 for in-state students.

Contact Information

6Drake University

Drake University offers academic programs and experiences tailored to fit students’ strengths, interests, and career goals.

Courses Offered

The university provides a Law, Politics, and Society program that provides an interdisciplinary perspective on how law, culture, economics, politics, and social structure.

LPS students take courses from different departments and faculty at Drake, including introductory courses in the major, to small topical seminars on issues such as policing and drug use, human rights and international law, reproductive law and politics, and more.

Students learn skills such as:

  • Reading and understanding legal texts, court decisions, and theoretical writing
  • Know and articulate the difference between law as a professional practice and law as a topic of liberal arts inquiry
  • Demonstrate awareness of how issues of justice, morality, authority, order, legitimacy, individualism, and community create social tensions
  • Analyzing political, social, or legal events or situations using contemporary legal, critical, and/or interpretative theories

Contact Information

7Purdue University Global

About the School

Purdue University Global provides programs designed to help working adults earn a degree.

Purdue Global is an online university designed to fit into the students’ busy life.

Courses Offered

Among many other program pathways, the university offers the following programs that prepare students for work in the legal field:

  • Master of Science in Legal Studies
  • Associate of Applied Science in Legal Support and Services
  • Legal Secretary Certificate
  • Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate
  • And more

The Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate can be completed in 11 months.

The certificate requires that students complete between 36-37 credits.

The program costs $371 per credit.

Students learn from a faculty of legal practitioners with real-world expertise in legal services, law, and policy.

The curriculum covers topics such as:

  • Introduction to the Law and Legal Profession
  • Civil Litigation
  • Legal Ethics
  • Law Office Management
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • And more

Contact Information


About the School

Formerly known as The Center for Legal Studies, CLS by BARBRI provides continuing legal education.

The curriculum is delivered to students in online, live lecture, and text-only formats.

The courses are designed for adult students and are taught at a college level.

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED and they must be 18 years of age before enrollment.

Courses Offered

The following paralegal courses are available at the school:

  • Paralegal Certificate Course
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course
  • Advanced Legal Research and Writing
  • Personal Injury for Paralegals
  • eDiscovery for Paralegals

Costs vary depending on the course.

The Paralegal Certificate Course cost starts at $1,895.

This is a flagship introductory course and functions as a first step toward a paralegal career.

The most popular format can be completed in two, seven-week instructor-led sessions.

The school’s interactive platform offers 24/7 online course access with video and printed tutorials available.

Six sessions per year are available, starting every eight weeks.

Students have 14 weeks to complete the online program: seven weeks for Paralegal I and seven weeks for Paralegal II.

Contact Information

9Liberty University

About the School

Online paralegal training programs are also available at Liberty University, an accredited Christian college.

A variety of programs are offered at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels and are taught from a Christian perspective.

The programs are available fully online and students can complete the coursework while keeping a job and remaining active in their community.

Students can transfer up to 75% of the degree total.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Courses Offered

The Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies program available at Liberty University provides students with the experience and practical skills that can be marketed while they pursue a Bachelor’s degree.

The program prepares students with a foundational knowledge of criminal law and procedures, writing depositions, and real estate transactions, and in-demand skills such as performing title searches.

The program includes 60 credit hours and can be completed in one and a half years, on average.

Contact Information


About the School

A community-based institution located in Sacramento, California, Campus offers respected vocational training in a wide range of topics.

The college’s catalog includes programs that prepare students for employment in healthcare, law, information technology, business, cosmetology, and barbering.

The school was formerly known as MTI College.

The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Courses Offered

An Online Paralegal Degree Program is available.

This program is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to start a successful paralegal career.

The program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Graduates are ready for employment as paralegals for both the private and public sectors, performing substantive and procedural behind-the-scenes legal work for legal departments and law firms.

Those who have previously completed an associate or baccalaureate degree or have completed 54 approved quarter units in general education from an accredited institution begin their Online Paralegal Degree Program in year two.

The college also provides a Legal Administrative Assistant program available online.

This program leads to a diploma and prepares students for work in a wide range of law practices, from civil to criminal law.

Contact Information

Regional Salary in Iowa

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Ames, IA40$54,470$26.19$77,130$35,820
Cedar Rapids, IA260$60,840$29.25$81,370$35,990
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL230$53,290$25.62$75,210$36,910
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA1,160$60,550$29.11$82,360$44,940
Dubuque, IA50$52,930$25.45$78,700$38,260
Iowa City, IA130$54,160$26.04$77,980$36,980
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD110$54,770$26.33$78,170$39,160
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA100$54,500$26.2$77,890$36,630
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Paralegals and Legal Assistants, OCC Code 23-2011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

If you live in Iowa and want to start an entry-level career in the legal field, the paralegal profession can be a great option.

Now that you have read our list of the top paralegal schools in Iowa, the next step is to continue the research, decide if this career is a right fit for you, and apply for the program that best meets your learning style and career aspirations.