Do I Need a Lawyer?

Much like the case when it comes to dentists, doctors, counsellors or psychologists, nobody really enjoys seeing a lawyer.

It can be confusing as to whether or not you require the assistance of a lawyer. When it comes to family law in particular, things aren’t always so cut and dry. Divorce lawyers and child support lawyers are people that nobody really dreams of looking for, but there are times when it is certainly necessary.

We’re professionals in a field, we’re there to offer our opinion and counsel, and, if required, to assist people with their problems, but therein lies the issue – clients only come to us when there is a problem.

A client makes an unconscious, and perhaps inevitable, association between their problems and their lawyer. Combine this with the plethora of stories and jokes you hear about lawyers (some of my favourites can be found at, as well as the high stress and potentially high cost of litigation or defending a police prosecution, and one can pretty easily understand the negativity surrounding the profession.

One even might start to ask themselves, “Do I need a lawyer after all?”

It might seem like an obvious answer in certain cases.

However, first ask yourself, what is at stake? When your finances, your business, your property, your time with your children, or even your own liberty, are in serious jeopardy, is that an appropriate time to take half-measures? If you’re experiencing ongoing and chronic pain somewhere in your body, would you see a doctor, or would you take a scalpel and start operating on yourself? So what about that upcoming court date? Are you going to walk into court room with nothing but a scalpel and your best intentions?

The legal system is complex, dense, confusing, and unfortunately at times both slow and counter-intuitive. Justice, however, is blind, and its ramifications can be significant, severe and permanent. The utility and importance of having an ally, who is fighting for your best possible outcome, and who can guide you through that jungle, cannot be understated.

The compelling reasons for hiring legal representation go on:

  1. Not having proper representation, such as a family lawyer, may actually cost you more, particularly in family law cases where you do not understand your rights and the amount of money you may be entitled to.
  2. A lawyer can also evaluate your situation and advise you on alternative courses of action, so even if you end up having to pay a few hundred dollars, it can prove to be a wise investment that ultimately saves you time and money.
  3. Lawyers know how to challenge, restrict or suppress the use of evidence.
  4. Lawyers understand how to properly file court documents such as intervention orders, and handle other legal procedures.
  5. A good lawyer can achieve a good settlement offer or plea bargain.
  6. A good criminal lawyer knows what a court wants to hear and can make submissions directed to those issues.
  7. Similarly, a good lawyer knows what a court does not want to hear, and will not say things that are likely to waste time to frustrate the decision maker.
  8. Retaining a lawyer shows the court that you are taking the matter seriously.
  9. Particularly in criminal cases, magistrates are aware that retaining a lawyer involves an expense. They know that those who have gone to the trouble of retaining legal representation have already suffered a financial penalty of sorts as a result of their mistake.
  10. Legal matters, particularly in criminal and family law jurisdictions, often go beyond academic and legal matters, and are often emotional in nature. A lawyer is an unbiased and unattached, whose strategic thinking should not be clouded by emotion or pride. As the old saying goes, “he who represents himself has a fool for a client”.

Finally, they often provide a free initial face-to-face consultation. Not only will a free consultation give you an idea of the type of case you have, it will help you decide whether you actually need to hire a lawyer (you probably do!).

So if you have a legal problem or issue, make an appointment for a free initial consultation with one of your professional and friendly solicitors at Hartleys Lawyers, and together we can discuss how we can serve you best.

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