A lot of people believe that a lawyer’s job is to tell them what to do in a given situation. However, this is not the case. A lawyer’s job is to identify the legal risks of different courses of action and present those risks to you to allow you to make a decision.
In a contract scenario, a lawyer may also provide advice as to whether a particular clause is reasonable in the circumstances having regard to their industry experience on similar matters. However, the decision as to whether to agree to any particular clause is ultimately yours.
There are circumstances such as the negotiating power of the parties and other commercial factors that may influence your decision that may, in some ways, conflict with an ideal legal outcome.
In a litigation scenario, lawyers may sometimes provide an assessment of the likelihood of success based on existing case law (or “common law”). However, this may not always be the case because there may not be existing case law.
Either way, a lawyer should provide an outline of any relevant cases so that you can also get a feel for your chances of success. It is important that you follow the same logical steps the lawyer has followed in forming an assessment because, ultimately, you are potentially incurring the cost of any legal action.