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Working with a lawyer

A lawyer’s role is to lis­ten to your sto­ry, give you legal advice and help you under­stand your options mov­ing forward. 

They will give you all the infor­ma­tion you need to decide for your­self the best choice for you. 

See­ing a lawyer does not mean you have to take legal action, but it is the start­ing point if that is what you decide to do.

1. Arrang­ing to speak with a KWILS lawyer

When you first call or vis­it to ask KWILS for help, you will speak to a per­son in our office who will ask you some basic ques­tions about you and your legal problem.

If KWILS is the right ser­vice to help you, we will make an appoint­ment. This can be at our office, or a place you choose where you feel safe and comfortable.

You can talk to KWILS with an inter­preter, so you can tell us your sto­ry in the lan­guage that you feel most com­fort­able with.

You can make an appoint­ment here, come to the KWILS office, call us on 1800 620 108, or email us on info@​kwils.​com.​au.

2. How to pre­pare for appointment

The idea of meet­ing with a lawyer can be stress­ful or scary, but it does not need to be — we are here to help solve prob­lems, not cre­ate them.

You might like to spend some time think­ing about the sit­u­a­tion you want to bring to us before you arrive. 

You could write some notes, includ­ing dates and spe­cif­ic incidents. 

If you are wor­ried that you might for­get some­thing when you are talk­ing to us, writ­ing down your thoughts and dates before you come can help.

Write a list of ques­tions that you have about your legal prob­lem, the law, or the legal process.

If you think of more ques­tions after the appoint­ment, you can always call back to ask them.

3. What to bring to appointment

It is help­ful to bring any papers you have that are rel­e­vant to the legal prob­lem to your appointment. 

Papers that might be help­ful include:

  • Let­ters (for exam­ple, from Ter­ri­to­ry Fam­i­lies, Ter­ri­to­ry Hous­ing, or Centrelink)
  • Bills (for exam­ple, from Tel­stra or Jacana)
  • Fines
  • Con­tracts
  • Court Orders (for exam­ple, Domes­tic Vio­lence Orders)
  • Oth­er Court Papers (for exam­ple, from the Fam­i­ly Law Court) 
  • Text mes­sages, or social media mes­sages, sent to you from anoth­er person 
  • Pho­tos

4. What to expect

At the first appoint­ment, we will com­plete the client intake process. This means either a KWILS sup­port offi­cer or lawyer will sit down with you and ask infor­ma­tion about per­son­al cir­cum­stances and con­tact details.

The client intake process will be done before any legal advice is given.

You might need to sign an Author­i­ty to Obtain Infor­ma­tion and Release Infor­ma­tion, and a Client Agreement. 

Next, the lawyer will ask you to tell your sto­ry. The lawyer will ask you to tell your sto­ry in as much detail as pos­si­ble, and they will ask ques­tions about all the extra things they need to know.

It is impor­tant that you include only true things, and as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble, so the lawyer can give the best and most cor­rect advice.

If our staff are wor­ried about your safe­ty, they will talk to you about doing a risk assess­ment and safe­ty planning.

5. Con­fi­den­tial­i­ty

Lawyers are allowed to keep almost all infor­ma­tion clients tell them secret. 

How­ev­er, like all adults in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry, KWILS staff have to manda­to­ry report domes­tic vio­lence to the police, or manda­to­ry report to Ter­ri­to­ry Fam­i­lies if a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed.

Wher­ev­er pos­si­ble, KWILS will dis­cuss mak­ing the report pri­or to mak­ing it. 

We will also con­sid­er everyone’s safe­ty, and how and when is the best time to make a report.

Click here for fur­ther infor­ma­tion on manda­to­ry reporting.

6. KWILS are here to help

Nev­er be afraid to ask for help. It is impor­tant that you under­stand your options and your lawyer’s legal advice.

We try our best to explain legal process­es and the law in the best way for you, but we under­stand that it can still be confusing.

There are lots of ser­vices that it can help to talk to about any wor­ries and sad­ness you might have. 

Find support services here