Some things in life are more of an investment than others. If you buy a knockoff appliance and it breaks down a month after purchase, that’s a bummer, but you can always buy a better model. But when it comes to picking the right employment lawyer, it almost goes without saying that not all of them are created equal.
If you’re in the market for an employment attorney, you might need whistleblower protection, or you could be seeking redress for potentially being wrongly terminated, or other similar issues. The one thing they all have in common is that these are legal issues that can have a gigantic impact on your professional life, and it behooves you to partner with not just any attorney, but the right attorney. Read on for a few things to consider during your search.
- First and perhaps most importantly, be sure to do your due diligence. Get referrals from friends and family, as well as other attorneys. Word of mouth is both powerful and honest. You can gather information online on Lawyers.com or Attorneys.com, both of which will provide you with lots of information about lawyers in your area. You can also contact your state bar, since most provide free referrals.
- By now, you probably have a list of possible attorneys. Take the time to interview them. Ask about their certifications, and their membership in the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). How familiar are they with any current changes in employment law? Ask to see their credentials. Also, trust your intuition. If you don’t like someone during the interview, but you’re not sue why, politely thank them and interview someone else.
- You’ll also want to make sure that the attorney you choose has experience in cases like yours. Remember that employment law covers a wide variety of topics, like dispute resolution and mediation or discrimination suits. Most employment lawyers will focus on a particular area of employment law, so make sure to ask about cases like yours and successes they have had.
- Also, keep in mind that every employee has certain state and federal rights. You’ve got the right to privacy of mail and possessions, the right to be protected from harassment and discrimination, the right to a safe workspace, and the right to fair compensation for your labors.
- It’s critically important to be completely honest with your attorney. Your situation might be embarrassing or upsetting, but your lawyer can’t represent you properly unless they have all the facts. Be sure to also talk about what your expectations are for them and your hopes for the outcome of your case.
- Once you begin the process, your attorney will likely ask you to retrieve for them certain documents, paperwork, or information that can be used to help with your case. You might not understand why the need certain things, and it’s okay to ask questions. But don’t argue with your attorney, just do what the ask of you.
- The majority of employment attorneys will offer a free consultation appointment. During that time, make sure you completely understand their payment arrangement. Some lawyers bill based on the success of the case, while others are hourly. Compare their pricing with other attorneys and factor that into your decision.