​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

When do you need a lawyer?

Sometimes the law and the legal system can get confusing and hard to understand. You may not know how to resolve your issue, which area of law your legal issue is about, whether you have to go to court and if so, how the court process works. Seeing a lawyer and getting some legal advice can help you understand your options and give you the confidence to help you resolve your legal issue. ​

    What can a l​​awyer do?

    A lawyer can do as much or as little work as you and the lawyer agree. You can ask them to help you with your case from start to finish, or you can ask them to deal with certain parts of your case.

    A lawyer can give you legal advice. This may include:

    • reading and explaining documents
    • helping you fill in forms
    • helping you fill in an application for a grant of legal aid
    • giving you an opinion about what you should do, the strength of your case, the likely outcome.

    A lawyer can represent you (do work for you and speak on your behalf). This may include:

    • writing letters or emails on your behalf
    • negotiating with the other party on your behalf
    • representing you in court.

    Before you see a lawyer, think about what work you want done. A lawyer should be able to tell you quickly whether they can help you with your case and if they can represent you. However, they may need some time to work on your particular legal issue or dispute.

    Should you get legal advice?

    It is always a good idea to get some legal advice about your legal issue.

    As a starting point, you can call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 to give you free legal information over the telephone and send you information, for example, fact sheets, forms, publications. In some cases, LawAccess NSW can arrange for one of our lawyers to give you free legal advice over the telephone and/or refer you to another service, for example, if you need face to face legal advice, or a specialist legal service.

    There are some benefits of getting legal advice. A lawyer:

    • can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities
    • knows how the law applies to your case
    • may be aware of a defence or law that you are not aware of
    • can tell you how strong your case is
    • can advise you about any relevant time limits or if you are able to get an extension on any deadlines that may apply.

    Should you get a lawyer to represent you?

    After you have some information or advice, you may be able to resolve your problem or legal issue yourself. For more information, see the Negotiation and Mediation topics of this website.

    People will often represent themselves because it may be cheaper. Sometimes people have to represent themselves because depending on their type of legal issue, the court or tribunal may not allow a lawyer to represent them.

    If you are still not sure whether or not to get a lawyer to represent you, you should consider:

    • how much do you know about the area of law that relates to your case?
    • are you comfortable representing yourself?
    • what are the risks if you do not get a lawyer?
    • how much will a lawyer cost?
    • is there a lawyer close to where you live?
    • is a lawyer allowed to represent you?

    For more information, see The role of a lawyer. ​