Become a Paralegal in Missouri

Find Paralegal Programs

If you answer a few quick questions, we'll show you paralegal programs that are actively recruiting students with your educational background and location.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,710 paralegals and legal assistants were employed in Missouri as of May 2012. The annual median wage was $48,980, although paralegals working in law firms where the pay is higher and the hours are longer made as much as $70,000. The highest concentrations of opportunities were found on the eastern border in the St. Louis area (where 2,200 paralegals were employed), and on the western border in and around Kansas City (where 2,230 paralegals were employed and the annual mean wage was as high as $51,030).

*Whether you’re looking to earn an undergraduate degree in preparation for the Certified Paralegal Exam, or ready to advance your career with a master's degree in legal studies, accredited online programs make it easier than ever to get the education you need:

Washington University School of Law offers an online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program. This 12-month master's degree allows paralegals to gain in-depth knowledge of US Law. The program can be completed without relocating or leaving your job. No GRE or LSAT scores required.

Job listings on sites like Indeed, Simply Hired and Career Builder show that not only are paralegal positions available in law firms; paralegals can often find work in corporations, banks and the government. In addition, some non-paralegal positions list paralegals skills as desirable or even mandatory, giving graduates of paralegal programs a wide range of opportunities.

Missouri Paralegal Certification

There are no mandatory licensing or certification for paralegals in Missouri.

Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree in Missouri

Paralegal Certificates

  • Saint Louis Community College (Florissant Valley and Meramec Campuses)

    Saint Louis Community College offers a 30-credit-hour certificate of proficiency in legal studies for the paralegal at its Florissant Valley and Meramec campuses. Courses cover basic legal terminology, Missouri statues, cases, pretrial and trial procedures and practical paralegal skills. Students leave St. Louis Community College well prepared for paralegal positions.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $2,940 for district residents; $4,320 for other Missouri residents; $5,970 for out-of-state students; $6,270 for international (based on spring 2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus with a few classes offered online

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Civil Trial Procedures
    • Introduction to Law for the Paralegal
    • Computers and the Law
    • Legal Research
    • Legal Writing
  • Webster University

    The 24-credit graduate certificate in paralegal studies offered at Webster University covers practical skills such as legal research and writing, gives students an understanding of the ethics of the legal profession and helps them become familiar with substantive law. In addition, students choose courses in advanced topics such as consumer law, juvenile law, probate, bankruptcy and computers and the law.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $15,480 (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree with 2.5 or higher GPA
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

Paralegal Associate Degrees

  • Metropolitan Community College (MCC) – Penn Valley Campus

    Metropolitan Community College (MCC) was first established as the Kansas City Polytechnic in 1915, and was the first two-year college in the United States to award an associate degree. Its Associate in Applied Science of paralegal practice gives students a solid grasp of substantive and procedural law and ethics, as well as teaches practical skills such as legal research and writing. Students put this course work to use through an internship, working under the supervision of an attorney. This 64- to 67-credit program is accredited by the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAFPE).

    • Estimated Program Cost: $5,888 for district residents–those in the Belton, Blue Springs, Center, Fort Osage, Grandview, Hickman Mills, Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City, Park Hill and Raytown school districts); $11,008 for residents of other Missouri districts; $14,464 for out-of-state students (based on 2013 per-credit tuition; students in Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota may be eligible for a reduced rate through the Midwest Exchange)
    • Prerequisites: Open admission; students without a High School Diploma or GED may be admitted as special students.
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On-campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Paralegal Practice
    • Principles of Legal Technology
    • Criminal Law and Procedures
    • Contracts
    • Torts
  • Drury University

    Drury University in Springfield offers an Associate of Science in paralegal studies that prepares that students to work under the supervision of attorneys doing legal research, interviewing, investigation and document preparation. All students complete a thee-hour practicum.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $43,400 (based on 2013 tuition for full-time students)
    • Requirements: College preparatory curriculum, including at least three years of math
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus or online

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to the Law for the Paralegal
    • Legal Research
    • Legal Writing
    • Litigation
    • Interviewing and Investigating

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Missouri Western State University

    A 4-year public institution, Missouri Western State University (MWSU) is located in St. Joseph. It offers a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice with an emphasis in legal studies, a program that may be especially valuable to those who have an interest in many areas of the criminal justice system, not just corporations and law firms, as well as those who wish to specialize in criminal law.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $23,889 for in-state students and those from select counties in Illinois, Iowas, Kansas and Nebraska taking on-campus classes; $48,653 for non-residents taking on-campus classes; $31,124 for in-state online students; $43,648 for out-of-state online students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: 2.0 GPA or higher; ACT composite of 18 or higher or associate degree; others may be admitted on certain conditions
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus or online

    Sample required courses:

    • Paralegal Studies
    • Legal Research
    • Legal Computer Applications
    • Litigation
    • Legal Drafting
  • William Woods University (WWU)

    Located in Fulton, William Woods University (WWU) offers a Bachelor of Science in legal studies with a paralegal emphasis, designed to help students develop thinking skills and apply those skills to the daily activities of assisting an attorney. Criminal justice classes add an extra dimension to the student’s education that is of special value for those who’d like to work in criminal defense or in a prosecutor’s office. William Woods University also offers an online Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $79,800 for the on-campus program; $24,4000 for the online program (based on 2013-2014 tuition rates)
    • Perquisites: Freshman applicants with a 2.5 GPA, at least a 19 on the ACT or 900 on the SAT and who graduate in the top 50 percent of their class will usually be accepted to the university; however, every aspect of an applicant’s credentials is taken into consideration.
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus (Bachelor of Science in legal studies with a paralegal concentration); Online (Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies)

    Sample required courses:

    • American Legal System
    • Intro to Criminal Justice Evidence
    • Law, Ethics & Morality

Paralegal Master’s Degrees

  • Webster University

    Located in Saint Louis, Webster University‘s Masters of Arts in legal studies emphasizes the fundamentals of legal reasoning and analysis, while enabling students to define the goals of legal research and apply oral and written skills. Students may seek concurrent enrollment in the certificate in paralegal studies program and have the opportunity to study near the seat of international law at The Hague.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $25,155 (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition; military members, retired military members and dependents of active duty military may receive a reduction in tuition)
    • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree with 2.5 GPA or higher
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Legal Studies
    • Jurisprudence
    • Ethics for the Legal Professional
    • Methods of Legal Research & Writing I & II
    • Criminal Actions
    • Computerized Legal Research

Additional Paralegal Educational Programs

Professional Organizations

  • The St. Louis Paralegal Association (SLPA) supports paralegals with networking opportunities, continuing legal education (CLE), seminars and workshops. Members have access to a job bank and receive a newsletter that updates them on association news and legal information that relates to paralegals. SLPA also offers a mentoring program for those who are interested in becoming paralegals.
  • The Kansas City Paralegal Association (KCPA) promotes and enhances the development of the paralegal profession. Membership benefits include a subscription to the “Para View” newsletter, KCPA luncheons, reduced rates for seminars and events, job postings and networking resources.
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