According to the 2005 Hildebrandt International Law Department Survey, there are three categories of legal assistants (See my post of Aug. 21, 2005 on the differences, if any, between paralegal and legal assistant.): “Senior Legal Assistant,” “Certified Legal Assistant,” and “Legal Assistant.”
Among the 130 reporting companies, 66 had certified paralegals (475 individuals) while 73 had legal assistants (467 individuals). There was thus a one-to-one ratio between certified and non-certified paralegals between those two categories. In the category of senior paralegals, some – it is even likely much more than one half – were certified.
Median pay was about 4-6 percent more for certified paralegals (See my post of March 17, 2006 about compensation for in-house lawyers with degrees other than law degrees.).