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Open Polytechnic students take top spots in New Zealand Law Society examinations

Posted on 12 March 2015

Open Polytechnic students achieved top marks in the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) examinations for 2014, and have been recognised in the top-spots in five out of six of the examinations that make up the NZLS Legal Executive Diploma.

Each year students from four different tertiary providers around the country sit one or more of the six examinations that make up the NZLS Legal Executive Diploma. Open Polytechnic students, who study by distance learning, have a strong history of featuring amongst the prize-winners.

Nicola McKenzie, who lives in Auckland’s North Shore, was named top graduating student overall. She receives a prize from Thomson Reuters for her outstanding accomplishment, while two other Open Polytechnic students won awards for a second time.

Christchurch’s  Stephanie Waterhouse achieved the highest mark nationally in the Property Law and Practice examination, receiving a prize from both NZLS and Thomson Reuters for her achievement. This is the second year in a row Stephanie has been recognised for top marks

Proud of her consistently high results, Stephanie says “studying gives you a fresh outlook on what you want to do and where you want to be in the future. Studying by distance makes you very disciplined but also gives you absolute flexibility and control over how you work. I also like to be challenged and I like learning new things and being able to develop and hone my skills.”

Lyn McCarthy, based in South Auckland, received the highest mark nationally in the Litigation and Law Practice examination. In 2012, she achieved the top mark for the Property Law and Practice examination.

“After returning to the workforce I realised the importance of ongoing training, upskilling and having the qualification, especially as registered legal executives were able to undertake functions that non-registered could not.  The NZLS Legal Executive Diploma is a well-recognized and reputable qualification throughout New Zealand,” she says, adding she chose distance study because she works full-time and would not be able to travel to classes.

The other top achievers were Auckland’s Catherine MacGregor who achieved first place in the Introduction to the Legal System examination and was also awarded a Thomson Reuters Prize for her achievement, Taranaki – based  Lucy Castle who achieved top marks in the Introduction to Law Office Practice examination, and Nelson- based student Simon Penketh who achieved top marks in the Business Law and Practice examination.

Programme Leader, Cedric Hunt congratulated all the Legal Executive Diploma students on their outstanding achievement.

“Lecturers are delighted that so many Open Polytechnic students performed so well in the exams. We warmly congratulate them all. For a second year in a row Open Polytechnic student pass rates were above the national average which is a wonderful effort and evidence of much conscientious study.”  


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