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– Offered entirely online and/or at Iowa Valley Grinnell –

Paralegals (and Legal Assistants) perform some of the same tasks as lawyers, and also do legal research and write reports to help prepare and support legal cases.  A lawyer may delegate any legal work to a Paralegal except tasks that involve giving legal advice or representing a client in court (although Paralegals may assist at trials).  Paralegals work in all different types of law, including litigation, family law, corporate law, and many other areas.  Because law has become so complex, many Paralegals have specialties that focus on specific kinds of cases and aspects of the law.

Iowa Valley Grinnell (a satellite campus of Marshalltown Community College) offers two similar Paralegal programs, depending on your career goals:

  1. A two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree for those who want to go directly into the workforce after graduation.
  2. A two-year Associate of Arts (AA) degree for those who want to transfer their IVG/MCC credits and complete a baccalaureate/bachelor’s degree at a university.

The links under Degrees Awarded (below) outline these two program options. Both the AAS and the AA degree can be completed entirely online or on the Iowa Valley Grinnell campus.

Focused on Iowa law for Iowa Paralegals

Iowa Valley Grinnell’s Paralegal program is taught by experienced Iowa attorneys who focus on Iowa law, Iowa procedures, and global best practices.  Students in both the online and on-campus programs will participate in an interactive, team-based learning environment similar to that in most law offices and legal departments.

The IVG Paralegal program covers the basics of writing and research, computer skills, public speaking, and ethics.  It also includes courses in Income Tax Accounting, Business Law, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Torts and Litigation, Administrative Bankruptcy Law, Employment Law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Students may choose to include in their AAS degree program a Legal Practicum that provides actual work experience prior to graduation.

Career Information

Paralegals are typically employed in law offices, legal departments, insurance companies, banks, human resource departments, and state or federal government offices.  For some, the Paralegal profession is a first step toward pursuit of a law degree.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median pay for Paralegals was $50,410/year. It’s expected that 41,800 Paralegals/Legal Assistants will be hired between 2016-2026, which represents a growth of about 15%, much higher than average. Additional career information is available at


Our two-year Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree is designed to meet the requirements of colleges and universities to which students may wish to transfer for completion of baccalaureate (BA or BS) degrees. In many instances, transfer colleges accept this degree as equivalent to their own general education requirements.

Because the requirements for an AA degree change periodically, students should check with their academic advisor to confirm that they have the most current information. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree they hope to obtain and for planning their schedule accordingly.

Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa

Iowa Valley Grinnell participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable our students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at IVG/MCC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask a staff member for more information!

Iowa Valley Grinnell is located at 123 6th Ave. West in Grinnell, Iowa. To visit the campus or speak with someone about the Paralegal program, call (641) 236-0513 or (800) 756-0513 or email

Academic Advising Specialist

Kelly Davis

Kelly Davis
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