New Zealand Diploma in Legal Executive Studies (Level 6)

Qualification code NZ3508

We can help you start or advance your career as a legal executive, paralegal or legal assistant with our New Zealand Diploma in Legal Executive Studies.

As a graduate of the NZ Diploma in Legal Executive Studies you will be qualified to work as a legal executive under the supervision of a practising lawyer. You will have the skills and knowledge to be employed in support roles to lawyers in law firms or government departments.

Achieving this qualification is also one of the eligibility criteria to become a registered legal executive through membership of The New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives Incorporated.

This qualification replaces the New Zealand Law Society Legal Executive Diploma. Open Polytechnic has worked closely with the New Zealand Law Society to develop our programme of study for the New Zealand Diploma in Legal Executive Studies. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Law Society which sees both organisations working together to maintain the quality of the new qualification.

Under the terms of the MOU, if you were enrolled with the Law Society as a Legal Executive Diploma candidate by 30 June 2017 and have passed at least one paper in 2017, the Law Society intends to recognise the equivalent paper(s) from the Open Polytechnic for the purposes of awarding the NZLS Diploma up until July 2020.

All graduates of the NZ Diploma in Legal Executive Studies will receive an Open Polytechnic qualification, endorsed by the NZ Law Society. If you have completed papers in the NZ Law Society Legal Executive Diploma within the last 10 years you will receive cross credits to the corresponding course in the new qualification. If you studied your courses with Open Polytechnic you do not need to take any action and we will process your cross credits when you graduate. If you studied at another institution you will need to provide your result notification from the NZ Law Society.

When you are ready to graduate

To apply to graduate with the NZ Diploma in Legal Executive Studies please use the link below to apply to graduate. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Open Polytechnic or New Zealand Diploma and New Zealand Diploma in Business link.

The New Zealand Law Society is able, until 21 July 2020, to award an NZLS Legal Executive Diploma to those who complete the New Zealand Diploma in Legal Executive Studies through the Open Polytechnic. 

The requirement for that to occur is that the student must:

  • have been registered with NZLS prior to 30 June 2017
  • have completed at least one paper through NZLS prior to 2018
  • have now completed their qualification through the Open Polytechnic
  • apply to the NZLS, complete the application form and pay the necessary administration fee.

The information on how to do this are on the NZLS website. Please direct any enquiries to dick.edwards@lawsociety.org.nz

  • Level 6  
    Credits 120 
  • Workload

    Approximately 10-12 hours study per week for each 20 credit course. This may be higher at assessment or exam time.

  • Study type Trimester  
  • Cost $3880 NZ Domestic

    Approximate cost for the full qualification based on 2018 fee information, not including annual administration fees, fee increases, textbooks, course materials or external exam fees.

  • Student loan

    Eligible for student loans, if you meet the criteria. Student loans and eligibility

For information about selecting courses to study towards this qualification, check out the Choose courses tab.

When you achieve this qualification you will know about

• contracts and torts
• client relations, rules of professional conduct, searching and registration, trust accounting and office practices
• sale and purchase of businesses and company law
• trusts, wills, administration of deceased persons’property (estates), and asset planning
• debt collection, bankruptcy, litigation ethics, civil and family law procedures, legal aid applications, and District and High Court procedures
• buying and selling property (conveyancing) and sale and purchase agreements.

Career opportunities

This qualification will prepare you for a career in law offices, banking, property, insurance, finance or in-house government work under the supervision of a lawyer.

Assessments and Examinations

Each course has 2 in-course assignments which you must submit to the Open Polytechnic by a specified date for marking. These assignments contribute towards your final mark.
Each course has a final examination at the end of the trimester. You must achieve at least 40% in the final examination and an overall mark of 50% to pass each course.

Key dates

Every course has an enrolment close-off date. Make sure you know when you need to enrol by.

See key enrolment dates

Assessment and exam

Every course is assessed differently - some require assignments and others exams. Check the individual course pages for more information.

Information about assessment and exams

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