Open Polytechnic student named top graduate of the New Zealand Law Society Legal Executive Diploma

Posted on 3 March 2020

The Open Polytechnic is celebrating the achievement of Christchurch’s Sally Poyser who was named top graduate of the New Zealand Law Society Legal Executive Diploma for 2011.

“I was very surprised and very pleased. I had had a difficult year personally with a lot of things going on, lots of stress and not much time for study so I was pretty amazed I had managed to do so well, with my best exam marks yet,” says Sally.

Living in Christchurch, Sally’s studies were tested to the limits as she dealt with numerous earthquakes and tremors on top of her already busy lifestyle.

“I have found the earthquakes very unsettling. Whilst I am one of the lucky ones to have no property damage, the experiences themselves are very frightening. In my second year we had quite a strong aftershock in the middle of my property exam which was not very helpful!”

An employee of Chapman Tripp law firm, Sally says the Legal Executive Diploma has been beneficial in her line of work in the legal industry. Comprising six courses, the Level 6 qualification offers a recognised formal qualification and practical and theoretical skills that help students advance in their legal career.

“I have been studying for three years. I chose the Legal Executive Diploma because I have worked in the legal environment for 19 years and wanted to be more involved with the files I am dealing with and also just as a challenge to myself – keep the brain cells ticking over,” says Sally.

“I would recommend this course to anyone who works in the legal environment; it is very good for understanding the legal background to documents you may be working on and makes the work that much more interesting. It can also be a step up in your career path if you wish to move into a more challenging role.”

Studying by distance learning, Sally says she enjoyed being able to work at her own pace and not be tied to going to a class every week at a set time.

“I would also highly recommend studying through the Open Polytechnic for the flexibility and high quality of courses. I note that Open Polytechnic had several highly placed students this year and every year in the New Zealand Legal Executive Diploma exams so they must be doing something right. The tutors were there for support if, and when, I needed it and I found the written material very good.”

Chapman Tripp also assisted her studies, offering and providing valuable support. “My firm has supported my studies all the way through by funding my course fees and letting me have study and exam leave. My family has also been very supportive.”

The Open Polytechnic is one of the largest Polytechnic’s in the country and is enrolled over 40,000 students last year. It is also New Zealand’s specialist provider of open and distance learning, offering a wide range of courses and programmes on a national basis.