Legal Executive Āpiha Mahi Ture

Legal executives help lawyers prepare and file legal documents, research and prepare cases, give legal advice and help with house sales.

Most legal executives register with the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives.

Legal executives may do some or all of the following:

  • help lawyers with research and legal documents
  • act for clients buying, selling and developing property
  • administer estates and trusts and prepare wills
  • help with the legal aspects of running a business
  • help clients with debt collection
  • prepare, analyse and interpret legal documents
  • prepare and file court documents
  • help prepare court cases.


To become a conveyancer you must complete the Diploma in Conveyancing (Level 6) online from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for legal executives includes:

  • work as a legal secretary, law clerk or other work in a law office
  • working for the courts
  • customer service experience
  • research work.

Personal Qualities

Legal executives need to be:

  • accurate
  • reliable and able to keep information confidential
  • well organised
  • able to work well under pressure
  • friendly, patient and helpful.


Legal executives need to have:

  • knowledge of legislation and regulations
  • understanding of legal terms and methods
  • knowledge of how to prepare legal documents
  • legal research skills.


Legal executives:

  • usually work regular business hours
  • work in offices
  • may travel to visit clients or companies and also to attend conferences and law seminars.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include history and classical studies, information management and te reo Māori.

Legal Executives can earn around $42K-$55K per year.

Pay for legal executives varies depending on experience and location.

  • Legal executives with up to two years' experience usually earn between $42,000 and $55,000 a year.
  • With more than two years' experience legal executives can earn from $55,000 to $60,000.
  • Legal executives based in Christchurch can earn up to $80,000.

Source: Hays, 'Hays Salary Guide', 2017.

Conveyancers specialise in property transactions and settlements.


Years Of Training

2 year of training usually required.

To become a legal executive you need a New Zealand Diploma in Legal Executive Studies (Level 6).

It is recommended that you work in a law firm while you are studying for the diploma.

Most legal executives register with the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives.

Legal Executive