When do you need an Advocate?
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 an advocate 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 an Advocate do?
An advocate can do as much or as little work as you and the advocate 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.
An advocate 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.
An advocate 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 an advocate, think about what work you want done. An advocate 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 issue.
There are some benefits of getting legal advice. An advocate:
- 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.