Both terms are used interchangeably. If one of them means that the person has obtained a certificate after appropriate training, then why are those certificates referred to as “paralegal certification?” A tautology?
Someone explained to me that any person could be a “para-legal,” such as a filing clerk or a medical records analyst or a litigation support technician. The term “legal assistant,” according to this person is limited to those people who work with a lawyer on law-related, substantive matters. I don’t know. I welcome the opinions or answers of readers.