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Paralegal Diploma and Degree Programs in Des Moines, IA

Sep 26, 2018

Research paralegal studies courses in Des Moines, which currently has two colleges offering programs nearby. Read an overview of courses, admission info and program requirements for these schools, both less than five miles from downtown, and decide which program is right for you.

Des Moines Schools with Paralegal Programs

Students interested in paralegal studies have two options within ten minutes of the downtown Des Moines, IA area. This article looks at both schools and the relevant programs they offer. It also includes a table of important information about these institutions, including enrollment, tuition and the percentage of undergraduates who receive financial aid.

  • Students who want to earn a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies can do so at Grand View University, almost three miles from the city center.
  • Des Moines Area Community College, less than a mile from downtown, offers legal assistant training at the associate's degree and certificate levels.

Comparison of Schools

This table reports pertinent facts about both of these schools that prospective students should consider.

Grand View University Des Moines Area Community College
School Type 4-year university; private not-for-profit 2-year college; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 1,836* 22,982*
Campus Setting Midsize City Large Suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $26,516* $4,530 in-state; $9,060 out-of-state*
% of Undergraduate Students Receiving Grants and Scholarships (2016-2017) 90%* 23%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 93%* Open Admissions*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 67% for full-time students; 50% for part-time students* 59% for full-time students; 38% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate 50% (for those who began their studies in 2011)* 29% (for those who began their studies in 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Grand View University

Grand View University offers students both classroom and internship experience in paralegal studies. The 2+2 program at Grand View University allows students who have already earned an associate's degree in paralegal studies or legal assistant to earn their bachelor's degree in two years.

Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies

Grand View University's bachelor's degree in paralegal studies is the only program of its kind in the state. Students of paralegal studies take core courses in writing, business and public administration and can choose between three major concentrations, including business and human resource management, criminology, and public administration. Concentration classes include financial accounting, social psychology and American constitutional law.

Des Moines Area Community College

The Des Moines Area Community College offers a 2-year degree program to students who want to become paralegals. Additionally, the school offers a certificate for people who already have a degree, but want to transition to a legal career.

Paralegal Associate of Applied Science

After completing general education courses, paralegal students at Des Moines Area Community College can then select specialized legal courses. General class options include business and corporate law, legal research, writing, torts and litigation. Students further specialize and apply classroom skills by participating in a required internship under the supervision of an attorney. The program offers courses in family law, real estate law, mediation, criminal law and more. Students also have the option to take additional elective courses to round out their program.

Paralegal Certificate

Students who hold an associate's or bachelor's degree and want to pursue a legal assistant profession can pursue a paralegal certificate at Des Moines Area Community College. Coursework includes legal research and writing, torts and litigation, business and corporate law, as well as other elective law classes.

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