How to Become a Paralegal in Iowa

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How to Become a Paralegal in Iowa

Due to the enormous time required, financial commitment, and potential impediments such as a competitive job market and rigorous admissions requirements, becoming a lawyer can be a big bargain.

However, a career as a paralegal allows for a quicker entry into the legal field.

Since paralegals work closely with lawyers and attorneys, enrolling in a paralegal program is your best bet if you find it challenging to enter a traditional law school.

License Requirements to Become a Paralegal in Iowa

The Supreme Court advised that paralegals get certification from the National Association of Legal Assistants.

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Therefore, it is prudent for the potential Iowa paralegals to select a course of study that will equip them with the education available to meet the certification’s prerequisites.

To meet the licensure requirements, you must have a minimum of 60 semester hours from an American Bar Association-approved associate degree or bachelor’s degree program.

It would help if you also spent a quarter of the school hours on legal studies.

Finally, the applicant must have at least a year of job experience before gaining certification.

5 Top Paralegal Schools in Illinois

1. Des Moines Area Community College

Des Moines Area Community College Logo

The Paralegal Degree Course at DMACC enables students to perform a variety of responsibilities required by attorneys.

The goal of the curriculum is to offer students a comprehensive understanding of the judicial process and subject matter so they may execute complex legal work under the supervision of attorneys.

Des Moines Area Community College’s associate of science degree and legal assistant certificate have both been accepted by the American Bar Association.

The legal assistant certificate involves 34 credit hours and is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree.

On the other hand, the associate of science degree requires 64 credit hours and takes two years to finish.

In addition to lectures on professional ethics and their job, associate degree candidates must perform an internship in a legal office.

2. Kirkwood Community College

Kirkwood Community College Logo

Kirkwood’s curriculum in paralegal studies will train you for entry-level paralegal jobs and offer the credentials you need to advance your career if you are already working in the legal sector.

The Kirkwood Community College provides both an Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies and an Associate of Science in vocational choice.

The American Bar Association authorizes these two-year programs, and graduates gain the knowledge and expertise necessary to flourish in the paralegal field.

Before graduating from the 4-semester program, all students must complete an internship at a legal department in their fourth semester to gain real-world experience.

The program includes 31 credits and will cost you approximately $5766 in tuition.

3. Lowa Lakes Community College

Lowa Lakes Community College Logo

Earn an Associate of Applied Science degree while acquiring the skills necessary to manage legal duties successfully from Lowa Lakes Community College.

Lowa Lakes is among the most popular paralegal schools in Lowa.

Combining this on-the-job training with the advanced curriculum will give you the essential skills and knowledge to work in a legal firm.

The Associate of Applied Science takes five terms which cover 70 credits.

International students pay $201 per credit, whereas domestic students pay $196 per credit.

4. North Lowa Area Community College

North Lowa Area Community College Logo

The curriculum at NLWACC equips students with the theoretical knowledge required to communicate with attorneys and clients in typical legal practice.

The program’s purpose is to meet the needs of students with various educational and professional backgrounds who hope to advance new skills or prepare for a new career.

The tuition rate per credit hour is $179.25 for Iowa residents and $268.88 for non-residents.

This curriculum is six weeks long.

5. Western Lowa Tech Community College

Western Lowa Tech Community College Logo

This curriculum will educate you with the legal knowledge and office management skills necessary to function as a paralegal, collaborating with lawyers in law firms, corporations, real estate firms, government entities, and banks.

The program’s 67 credits will emphasize practical projects, the application of classroom instruction in the real world, and case studies.

You will have the opportunity to explore all areas of the paralegal field while establishing professional networking relationships in the classroom and through internships.

Due to the educational foundation of the curriculum, you can prepare for and sit both national certification exams (NALS and NALA).

In-state tuition and fees are $13,199 while $13,266 for out-of-state students.

Paralegal Schools in Iowa – Summary Table

School Name Address
Des Moines Area Community College 1100 7th St, Des Moines, IA 50314
Kirkwood Community College 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Iowa Lakes Community College 300 S 18th St, Estherville, IA 51334
North Iowa Area Community College 500 College Dr, Mason City, IA 50401
Western Iowa Tech Community College 4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106
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In Iowa, the average annual income of a paralegal is $41,826.

The paralegal sector is developing, resulting in a 22.2% increase in paralegal jobs in Iowa through 2024.

Average salaries are also expected to rise somewhat faster than the national average growth rate of 15%.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Des Moines $58,248
Cedar Rapids $54,258
Davenport $57,403
Sioux City $51,335
Waterloo $54,725
Iowa City $56,757
Council Bluffs $57,025
Dubuque $56,772
Ames $57,705
West Des Moines $58,248

Regional Salary in Iowa

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many paralegals are employed in Lowa?

In Iowa, around 2300 paralegals are employed, and over the next ten years, an expansion of opportunities in the legal support sector is predicted.

Will companies perform a background check before hiring a paralegal?

Most legal companies need a criminal and professional background check for hiring anyone as a paralegal in their firm.

What ethical requirements must Lowa's paralegals meet?

Legal professionals must adhere to the Paralegal Ethics Handbook, which defines the position’s requirements and how to conduct ethically in specific circumstances.

What academic credentials are required to become a paralegal in Lowa?

There are no official educational requirements to work as a paralegal in Iowa.

You can enter the field through a formal curriculum or by learning the required skills through on-the-job learning.

USA Paralegal Schools by State

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