10 Best Paralegal Schools inSouth Dakota

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This page compiles information about ten of the best paralegal programs available for South Dakota residents who want to start a non-lawyer career in the legal field.

Paralegals and legal assistants work in legal offices and are usually responsible for tasks such as:

  • 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 and a certificate in paralegal studies.

Search Paralegal Programs

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

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1Western Dakota Technical College

About the School

Western Dakota Technical College provides nearly 40 career options for its students.

The programs are designed to prepare skilled workers for some of the fastest-growing professional fields and industries.

The college also provides a free one-day career explanation camp that allows students to explore their interests through different types of activities.

Courses Offered

Western Dakota Technical College has an articulation agreement with Black Hills State University for applying to the Associate of Applied Science Degree programs toward a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services Program at BHSU.

For this major students must complete the following justice studies programs:

  • Internship: Human Services
  • Judicial Process
  • Constitutional Law
  • Psychology & Law
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • And more

The college’s catalog also features a Criminal Justice program with a Law Enforcement Emphasis.

The curriculum includes courses on:

  • Criminal Law and Procedures
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Juvenile Methods
  • Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • Constitutional Law
  • And more

Contact Information

  • Address: 800 Mickelson Dr. Rapid City SD 57703
  • Phone: (605) 718-2565
  • Website: https://www.wdt.edu

2National American University

About the School

National American University offers affordable online certificate and degree programs.

As a pioneer in eLearning, NAU has provided flexible online instruction for more than 20 years.

National American University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.

Courses Offered

Among many other programs, the university provides an online curriculum that can lead to a Bachelor’s Degree or an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies.

The program covers skills such as:

  • Knowledge of substantive and procedural law
  • Analyzing issues using legal research methodology
  • Communicating effectively through speaking and writing
  • Having professional behavior that follows ethical guidelines
  • Applying legal theories to relevant facts under the supervision of an attorney

The major core includes courses on:

  • Introduction to legal principles
  • Legal Research
  • Torts
  • Domestic Relations
  • Civil Procedure
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Law Office Technology
  • Real Property
  • Professional Ethics and Law Office Procedure
  • And more

Contact Information

3University of North Dakota

About the School

Paralegal training programs are also available online and on-campus at schools located in the neighboring state of North Dakota.

One such program is provided by the University of North Dakota.

Courses Offered

The following paralegal/legal courses are included in the university’s catalog:

  • eDiscovery for Paralegal
  • Paralegal
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course
  • Legal Nurse Consultant Training Courses
  • Employment Law
  • Legal Secretary
  • Legal Investigation
  • Victim Advocacy
  • And more

The Paralegal program costs $1,895 and is provided in partnership with CLS by Barbri.

The most popular format available at the school 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.

The program teaches students practical skills, including how to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, and assist lawyers when preparing cases for the courtroom.

Contact Information

  • Address: O’Kelly Hall Room 300, 221 Centennial Dr. Stop 9021, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9021
  • Phone: 701.777.0488
  • Website: https://und.edu

4Liberty University

A variety of paralegal programs are also available online at schools located in other states.

The courses are provided online and can be completed by students at their own pace, from the comfort of their homes.

About the School

Liberty University is an accredited Christian college with a 7,000-acre campus.

The university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, provides a variety of programs available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

The programs are offered fully online.

The courses included in Liberty University’s catalog are taught from a Christian perspective.

Courses Offered

The Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies program available at Liberty University provides students with the experience and practical skills that make students marketable 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

5Rasmussen University

More than 50 programs are available at Rasmussen University and allow students to choose from multiple start dates each year.

The university has a history of more than 120 years.

Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Classes are available at 22 locations and online.

Courses Offered

The following justice studies programs are available at the university:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Paralegal

The Paralegal program prepares students for careers as integral parts of the legal system.

The online paralegal program teaches students about the legal system and the importance of legal ethics.

Paralegal students learn from practicing judges, attorneys, and paralegals.

The program leads to a Paralegal Associate’s degree in as few as 18 months.

Those who already have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree can graduate with a Paralegal Certificate online in as few as eight months.

The paralegal curriculum includes courses such as:

  • Introduction to Law and the Legal System
  • Introduction to Legal Research
  • Paralegal Capstone
  • Legal Ethics
  • Law Office Management
  • Family Law
  • And more

Contact Information

6Arizona State University

About the School

Arizona State University gives students the opportunity to earn a degree on their schedule from anywhere in the world.

More than 300 online degrees and certificates are available at the university.

Courses Offered

The following law, criminal justice, and public policy degrees are included in the university’s catalog:

  • Tourism and Recreation Management
  • Justice Studies
  • Business- Law
  • Political Science
  • Sports Law and Business
  • Social Work
  • Legal Studies
  • And more

The Master of Legal Studies provided at Arizona State University is an advanced degree designed for students interested in understanding law, but not practicing it.

The program helps students build a foundation in United States law before they choose the electives that support their career goals.

Ten classes are available in total at the university.

The program includes 30 credit hours in total.

Students take courses on:

  • U.S. Law and Legal Analysis
  • Administrative Agencies and Regulations
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Fundamentals of Contract Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • And more

Contact Information

7Purdue Global

The paralegal programs available at Purdue University Global are designed for working adults who want to earn a degree.

Purdue Global provides an online university designed to fit into the students’ busy lives.

Courses Offered

Among many other program pathways, Purdue University Global provides the following legal studies programs:

  • 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 as few as 11 months.

The certificate requires 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 Paralegal 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

8Des Moines Area Community College

About the School

Located in Iowa, Des Moines Area Community College provides a variety of on-campus and online programs.

The learning areas included in the college’s catalog are organized into ten academic and career-focused pathways.

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

The following legal programs are available at Des Moines Area Community College:

  • Training- long-term- a program that takes between three to 12 months to complete
  • Training- short-term- a program that can be completed in six weeks to three 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

9Iowa Lakes Community College

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 students who want to enter the workforce directly.

Courses Offered

The college provides a Paralegal & Legal Studies, Associate in Applied Science.

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


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

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 CLS by BARBRI:

  • 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

Regional Salary in South Dakota

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD100$54,070$26$73,610$39,740
Sioux Falls, SD220$53,460$25.7$68,120$45,930
* 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 South Dakota and you want to start a career in the law field without spending three years in law school, the paralegal profession is worth exploring.

Now that you have read our list of the best paralegal programs available for South Dakota residents, it’s time to continue the research and apply for the program that best meets your needs.