The Northwest Territories are one of three territories in Canada and they too have nominee programs. Applicants who are nominated by a province or territories will have their permanent residency application processed more quickly. Contact a Northwest Territories immigration lawyer to discuss your options.
What you should expect from your Northwest Territories Immigration lawyer
Lawyers are expected, for example, to:
- be honest and courteous;
- keep clients informed, respond to phone calls or letters from clients;
- work in a timely fashion;
- respect client confidences;
- safeguard client funds, property, and account for money clients give to them;
- enhance lawyer profiles include the biography, legal education, and certified legal specialties;
- maintain adequate skills to represent clients effectively; and
- not act when there is a conflict of interest.
Steps in processing with Northwest Territories Immigration lawyer
1. Preparing to meet with a lawyer.
Before your meeting:
- Set out the details of your legal matter in order.
- Think about all of the questions you want to ask your lawyer.
- Prepare a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of the people involved in your problem.
- If you have documents about your problem, bring them with you to the lawyer.
- Your lawyer is required to confirm your identity and so he or she will ask you for identification which has a picture on it (government identity card, driver’s license, treaty card, firearms license, or passport).
2. Staff in a lawyer’s office
Your lawyer may also assign some of the tasks that he or she is performing to other lawyers with lower billing rates, or to staff in the lawyer’s office, to reduce your costs. Those other staffs are:
- Legal assistants and paralegals who are specially trained staff work under the lawyer’s supervision;
- Articling students or students-at-law who are training to be lawyers with a particular lawyer.
3. Meeting with your lawyer
To get the most out of your appointment with a lawyer, provide them all the information the lawyer will need.
If you do not speak English, let your lawyer know that. You may also want to bring someone who speaks and understands English with you to your meeting with your lawyer.
4. During your meeting
- Tell your whole story, even if it is damaging or embarrassing (anything you tell to obtain legal advice is confidential).
- Talk about your lawyer’s legal opinion and advice on what you should do next.
- Find out about your options and alternatives. Make sure you and your lawyer agree on your plans.
- Talk to your lawyer about fees.
- Make notes of any information that your lawyer requires you to provide and any dates that you have with your lawyer.
5. After your meeting
- Collect all of the information that your lawyer requested, and provide those to your lawyer.
- Be sure to meet your lawyer on the other dates.
Billing practice and service fee
There is no standard fee schedule for legal services. Before you begin using a lawyer, ask the lawyer for an explanation of their fees, and how often they will be sending you bills. This should be discussed at the first meeting you have with a lawyer.
Some common lawyer fees are:
- Fixed Fee or Flat Rate
- Hourly Rate
- Contingency Fee
Your lawyer may require that you sign a retainer agreement. This agreement should specify the fees that you are going to be charged, and how often you will be required to pay your lawyer. This agreement may also set out what will happen if you do not pay your lawyer when requested.
It is also possible to hire a lawyer to assist you with only part of your legal issues. This is called limited scope retainers. Limited scope retainers are new. Not all lawyers who practice in the NWT offer this service.
Keeping your legal cost down
Lawyer’s most often charge by the hour. To help keep your costs down, be organized and ready when you meet with your lawyer, whether in person or by telephone. The more often you contact your lawyer, the higher your account is likely going to be.
If you have questions, you may want to call your lawyer’s assistant rather than the lawyer, if you think the assistant will be able to help you. There may be a charge for talking to the assistant but their hourly rate is likely lower than your lawyers.
Be sure to thought carefully when you decide how you want your lawyer to proceed. Changing your instructions or actions can also mean that the account will be higher.
Disputes involving fees
If you do not understand some of the items on your lawyer’s account or if you disagree with the amount, talk it over with your lawyer. Go over the details and ask the lawyer to explain why a particular charge was made.
If you and your lawyer cannot resolve your disagreement, you may pursue a fee review through the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories.
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