Whether you’re an aggrieved employee or employer, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your case is handled by a trustworthy and skilled attorney who specializes in employment matters. This Workspirited article discusses how to find a good employment attorney to represent you.
38 percent of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims filed in 2012 were alleged retaliation claims.
Employment law covers all aspects of the legal duties and responsibilities shared by both the employer and employee. Some of the most common employment issues that result in litigation involve unpaid overtime wages, withheld wages and benefits, unsafe working conditions, wrongful termination, unlawful discrimination, disability pay, and work visa permits. Apart from filing the complaint or claim, it is equally important to hire an attorney who understands your case completely and deals with it seriously.
How to Search for Employment Lawyers
Contact Your State Bar Association for a Referral
A sure-shot way is to visit the online American Bar Association Lawyer Referral Directory, wherein you will be able to find attorneys from your State, and who are specialists in the field of employment matters. The second thing you can do is to search for State Bar Association Referral Directories and streamline your work. For example, Utah residents simply have to access the ‘Utah State Bar Lawyer Referral Directory’, select the area of legal service they seek, select the language they prefer, and the years of active practice they prefer their lawyer to have gained. The search results reveal a detailed list of lawyers living in Utah, along with the names, email, and contact information, among others. Some referral sites do not charge money for giving referrals; however, you may be charged USD 30 once you have contacted one of the lawyers referred. However, the lawyer you meet may charge a fee for his time and service for the half-an-hour consultation. Therefore, make sure you find out the initial consultation fee so as to assess whether you’re willing to bear the additional expense or not.
Search for Referred Lawyers
Once you have spoken to the free referral service providers and jotted down the names of the employment attorneys to contact, you can search for their credentials over the Internet. You may come across their law firm’s website, which can be an informative resource for you to evaluate the attorney, his areas of legal practice, years of experience, rate of success, and rating given by clients and other websites. Based on your needs and the research done by you, go in for an attorney who you believe will be able to give you time and invest all efforts into your case. You can do the same for attorneys who have been referred to you by colleagues, friends, and family members. That being said, make it a point to visit other employment attorneys in your area, who have successfully managed the cases of people you know.
General Online Attorney Search
You can also conduct a generalized search engine search. Streamline the results you get by specifying the State and city in which you reside. You may also check membership directories for employment attorneys who reside in your State and handle individual cases. The results you may be given will include several websites owned by law firms and individual lawyers. Read through some of their blogs and the information mentioned on their website. Make sure that you try to focus on attorneys who are experts in Employment Law and have formidable years of experience. Thereafter, shortlist some attorneys, and call their office to fix an appointment.
Factors to Consider While Meeting a Lawyer
Is there a Conflict of Interest?
Some employment lawyers represent only employers and will not meet with aggrieved employees. On the other hand, some attorneys handle only employee grievances. Therefore, before fixing an appointment, make sure you specify the type of employment lawyer you wish to meet while speaking to the referral service providers, during your online search, as well as while contacting law firms. In case the lawyer you meet handles all types of employment cases, inquire whether he is associated with your opponent’s/adversary party in any way.
The Traits to Look for in Your Lawyer
- During the consultation, you will need to observe the lawyer very carefully. A good lawyer is also a good listener and will always be attentive towards his client.
- Do not choose the lawyer if you find it very hard to communicate with him. Go in for a lawyer who can listen to your side of the story and give you sound advice.
- He must also be able to tell you whether your case has any merit in the court of law and whether it has any scope of success. He must do so in a simplistic manner so that you are able to understand the complexities involved in your case.
- Ensure that you observe the behavior of his staff, because the lawyer may delegate your case to them and thus, they will be doing most of the research and paperwork for your case.
- Select a lawyer who wins your confidence and has several years of experience in the field of employment law.
- He must also be well-informed about the recent trends and changes in the field of law and your job market that may affect the outcome of your case.
Sort Out Finances
You will need to inquire about how the lawyer charges for his/her services. Most of them charge by the hour, while some may ask for refundable/non-refundable retainer fee. On the other hand, some attorneys may charge a contingency fee, wherein you will be required to pay an agreed percentage of your claim to the lawyer in case you win. In order to avoid confusion, financial loss, and misunderstanding, demand that you be given a lawyer’s retainer agreement that specifies the expenses you will be expected to bear. Find out if the law firm will bear the costs at the outset and require you to pay after the case is decided, or you will need to pay at every step of the litigation.
Keeping your finances in mind, determine whether you will be able to manage these additional expenses or not.