May 22, 2024  
2015-2016 Course Catalog 
2015-2016 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs Available 2015-2016

The Paralegal certificate is for students with a Bachelor’s Degree, Associate in Science, or Associate in Arts Degree who wish to work as a paralegal. A paralegal performs a variety of legal tasks and provides a broad spectrum of services for attorneys in private practice, state agencies, and public service organizations. The paralegal works with the attorney in virtually every aspect of the legal profession except giving advice or representing clients in court (the actual practice of law).

For more information about the Paralegal certificate, please visit our website at

Students start any semester.

(For students starting the program in a semester other than Fall, please visit with an advisor or the program chair to assist with proper course sequencing.)

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Satisfy the assessment requirement.
  3. Attend any required information/registration session.
  4. Successful completion of  ENG 105  .
  5. Students must have a baccalaureate or an academic associate degree in Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS). Students with associate degrees in Associate in Applied Science (AAS), or Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) or Associate in General Studies (AGS) do not meet the requirement.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Paralegal certificate, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed, maintain a 2.0 grade point average and earn a grade of “C” or higher in each PRL course. Students must complete a minimum of 12 semester credit hours of legal specialty (PRL) course work at DMACC in a format where all required seat time is delivered face-to-face.

Required Courses

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Total Credits Required to Complete this Certificate - 34

These credits are applicable to the AAS degree in Paralegal  .

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

  Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
Books (approximate) 255 255 255

Approximate total cost of this certificate: $5, 627*

* Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

• Interview clients and witnesses.
• Draft various legal documents.
• Investigate fact situations.
• Review and organize material for cases.
• Research legal questions.
• Search public records.
• Assist with tax returns.
• Prepare probate inventories.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

• Good reading skills.
• Strong technical writing skills.
• Critical thinking skills.
• Ability to analyze and synthesize legal materials.
• Strong academic background.
• Ability to work independently with a minimum of supervision.
• Self-discipline and emotional stamina under stress.
• Interpersonal communication skills.

What Else Should I Consider about this Specialist Certificate?

• Some legal classes are offered only at night.
• Must have good reading and writing skills.
• Some courses require out-of-class work that must be done in a law library.
• Class attendance is important.
• Heavy homework load in some classes.
• A full-time student may be able to complete the certificate program in three terms of enrollment depending on when he/
   she enrolls.
• If you are interested in an Associate of Science degree with a Legal Assistant major, see the Program Information Brief for
   Paralegal-Associate of Science degree.
• Average starting salary: $27,440.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs Available 2015-2016