Lawyers deal with many personal, family, business and property matters and transactions. No one else has the training and experience to advise you on matters relating to the law. If your lawyer can’t help you with a particular matter, they can refer you to another specialist. Seeing a lawyer before a problem gets too big can save you anxiety and money.
Like other professional people, your lawyer charges for time, experience and skill in looking after your affairs. Ask at the beginning about the likely cost or tell your lawyer that you don’t want to spend more than a certain sum without the lawyer checking with you. If you are on a low income and there is the possibility of court proceedings, ask whether you might qualify for legal aid.
Choose your own lawyer for independent advice. You do not have to use the same lawyer as your partner or anyone else involved in the same legal matter. In fact, sometimes you must each get independent legal advice.
Lawyers must follow certain standards of professional behaviour. These are set out in the Rules of Conduct and Client Care, and came into effect with the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006.
The New Zealand Law Society has a number of web services that allow you to locate lawyers in private practice who hold current practising certificates.
Lawyers must have a practising certificate issued by the New Zealand Law Society. You can check if the person you plan to consult holds a current practising certificate by searching the Society's Register of Lawyers.
You can call the the Law Society on +64 4 472 7837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification.