​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |
LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself > Legal Skills > Dealing with your lawyer

Dealing with your lawyer

A person who has studied law, completed practical legal training, and been 'admitted' to the Supreme Court of their state or territory can call themselves 'a lawyer'. If a lawyer does legal work they must have a current practising certificate and be insured.

Lawyers can be solicitors or barristers. Solicitors meet with clients, conduct research, give legal advice and sometimes represent (speak for their clients) in court. Barristers specialise in representing people in court. Barristers are sometimes also referred to as 'counsel'.

If you have a legal issue, you may need a lawyer to help you. Good preparation before you see a lawyer can save you time, money and stress. It may also help the lawyer give you the best advice possible.

This topic has information about:

    ​What i​​​s a lawyer?

    Lawyers may work in one area of law or different areas of law. A lawyer may work in a private practice or for the government or in a community legal centre.

    Depending on your problem, you may need a solicitor or barrister, or both.

    This section covers:

    • The difference between solicitors and barristers
    • Areas of law

    For more information, see What is a lawyer?

    When do you need a lawyer?

    Sometimes the law and the legal system can get confusing and hard to understand. If you have a problem or a legal issue or dispute, a lawyer can give you advice and explain your legal rights and responsibilities and they may even represent you if you need to go to court.

    This section covers:

    • What a lawyer can do
    • Whether you should get legal advice
    • Whether you should get a lawyer to represent you

    For more information, see When do you need a lawyer?

    The role of a lawyer

    A lawyer's job is to listen to your problem, and see what you want to do about it. This is called taking instructions. They are responsible for giving you legal advice based on those instructions. When a lawyer is working for you, they also have a number of other duties.

    This section covers:

    • Following instructions
    • Confidentiality
    • Conflicts of interest
    • Communication
    • Acting honestly and in your best interests
    • Acting with skill and diligence

    For more information, see The role of a lawyer.

    Finding a lawyer

     A lawyer may work in a general practice, which means they give advice on different areas of law, or they may specialise in one area. They may also charge different prices. You need to find a lawyer that is right for you and your situation.

    This section covers:

    • Which lawyer is right for you
    • How to find a lawyer
    • Free or low cost services

    For more information, see Finding a lawyer.

    Preparing to meet your lawyer

    Preparing in advance can help you make the most of your time with your lawyer. If you have an appointment at Legal Aid NSW or a Community Legal Centre advice clinic, you might only get 20 minutes with the lawyer. The more prepared you are, the faster your lawyer will be able to understand your legal problem and give you the advice that you need.

    This section covers:

    • Researching your problem
    • Organising an interpreter
    • Gathering documents
    • Preparing a chronology
    • Checking costs

    For more information, see Preparing to meet your lawyer.

    Meeting with your lawyer

    When you meet with your lawyer you should make sure you are prepared by giving the lawyer any documents you have gathered, take the time to listen to your lawyer, ask any questions you have and decide what you want to do.

    This section covers:

    • Being prepared for the appointment
    • Questions you should ask
    • Things you should do after the appointment

    For more information, see Meeting with your lawyer.

    Legal costs

    Your lawyer must tell you the likely costs of your case before they start work. This is known as disclosure. You may also have to sign a costs agreement. The agreement should set out the lawyer's hourly or fixed rate, and explain any other charges, called disbursements. Disbursements include things such as photocopying, court filing fees, barristers' fees, medical reports.

    This section covers:

    • Disclosure and costs agreements
    • Costs and disbursements

    For more information, see Legal costs.

    Complaints about a bill

    Sometimes you may not be happy with the bill prepared by your lawyer.

    This section covers:

    • Talking to your lawyer
    • Making a complaint to the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC)
    • Having the bill assessed.

    For more information, see Complaints about a bill.

    Complaints about a lawyer

    Sometimes you may not be happy with the work your lawyer has done for you.

    This section covers:

    • Talking to your lawyer
    • Making a complaint to the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC)

    For more information, see Complaints about a lawyer.

    FAQs

    For answers to some commonly asked questions, see Frequently asked questions. ​