Perhaps you do not need a lawyer; however, a good lawyer can help you with many of the steps in this section on other remedies. These remedies are external to the University, and come with their own set of often complex legal rules.
Sometimes lawyers can be good sources of information even if you choose not to go through a legal remedy. A lawyer can help you understand your options. Even if you do take legal action, you may not have to have a lawyer. Talking things over with a lawyer is probably a good idea in any case.
The best way to be sure you have a lawyer experienced in these types of issues is to ask people you know about lawyers and legal clinics that they have used. Or you could contact one of the support services in the resources section of the guide for information about lawyers, clinics, costs and legal aid. The lawyer should be one who handles harassment cases, who treats women equally and who is supportive.
Before you set up a meeting, talk to the lawyer or the clinic and be sure to ask how much the meeting will cost.
At the meeting, discuss all the details of the harassment, including dates and times. Tell the lawyer about any ill health or other problems you have had because of the harassment. If you haven't been keeping a record, write down everything you can remember before your meeting. Think of questions you want to ask the lawyer, and write them down so you don't forget. Bring someone you trust with you. Take notes during the meeting or ask your friend to. You do not have to stick with the first lawyer you see. It is your case. Decide what is best for you.
Lawyers have special knowledge about the law, but you know your situation and your needs best. Your lawyer cannot protect you from harassment or unpleasantness. You should expect your lawyer to:
The cost of hiring a lawyer can add stress. You may be able to get help from a legal aid clinic. There are rules about who qualifies for legal aid. It depends on how much money you have. Not all legal aid clinics take on human rights cases, but they can advise you about your options and about making a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.