Working with a lawyer

Legal advice and assistance can help if you are not sure where to start, or your legal options to resolve issues you are facing.

  • If you are separating from your partner, working with a Family Lawyer can help you separate and make sure arrangements for children and property are fair and safe.
  • If you are having problems at work, working with an Employment Lawyer can help you resolve these.

The role of a lawyer is to give you legal advice and support so you can choose the best option for you in your circumstances. This includes giving you practical, strategic and realistic advice about the advantages and disadvantages of going down a certain path.

A good lawyer wants to solve problems, not create them, so you can move on with your life.


Once your lawyers’ involvement in your matter is finalised, they will close your file. The firm or organisation will keep your file for seven years after closing it. It is important to note that this does not prevent you from seeking further help or assistance in the future. If you need a copy of your file from the law firm or organisation, you should call and email your request.

You are entitled to your own documents and court documents if you don’t owe any money to the law firm. If you do owe money to the firm, you may need to talk to the firm’s practice manager about arrangements to release the file. Any file notes made by the lawyer are not included, these are considered the intellectual property of the law firm.

Complaints about lawyers

If you are unhappy with your lawyer, it’s good to be clear about why you are unhappy with their advice or their service.

If it is because you think they have overcharged you, you can talk to the law firm directly about their costs. Law firms cannot charge for these discussions.

If you are unhappy because your lawyer is not meeting your expectations and you feel comfortable doing this, talk to your lawyer and agree on what your lawyer can and can’t deliver.

If you are unhappy with an outcome, talk to your lawyer so you can understand it, figure out what happened and whether you need to complain to the law firm or organisation.

If you have a complaint about your lawyer that cannot be resolved with the law firm or organisation, you can contact the ACT Law Society, who can receive a complaint about your lawyer. This should be a last resort to resolving your issue.