If you are facing a problem with your employer, you will most likely need an attorney. Employment law is very complicated and only a qualified attorney can fully enforce your rights against illegal actions by your employer. The following is a list of factors that you should consider in choosing an employment law attorney:
Chose an attorney whose area of practice focuses on employment law. Attorneys who are “general practitioners” (i.e., who focus on multiple areas of the law such as family law, real estate law, and criminal law, in addition to employment law) may not know much about the particular area of your concern. Choosing an employee rights attorney who thoroughly knows the field can make a difference between winning and losing a case.
Chose a hands-on attorney. When calling different firms, pay special attention to how long it takes for you to get in contact with an attorney. An attorney who will work hard for you will be involved in your case in the early stages.
Unlike corporations, individuals who pursue an action in court place at issue many aspects of their personal life, including physical and mental health history. Only an attorney can protect your privacy and shield you from unfair tactics used by your employer and its counsel during litigation. Even if the facts overwhelmingly weigh in your favor, your employer will still launch an aggressive defense. For this reason, avoid law firms that hand off your case to a paralegal or a “case manager” and show little interest in getting to know you as a client and the unique facts of your case.
Personality is key. An attorney-client relationship is based on trust. No matter how experienced and well-recommended an attorney is, if you do not feel comfortable with that attorney, you might never achieve a solid attorney-client relationship. A lack of trust and communication will certainly hurt your case. Trust you instincts and chose a lawyer whose personality is compatible with your own.
Do not spend too much time shopping around. While it is certainly important to explore your options, employment cases have strict deadlines — in some cases as little as ninety (90) days. Engaging an attorney at your earliest opportunity will also allow sufficient time to explore alternative dispute resolutions to filling a lawsuit with your employer. In the event your employer is unwilling to settle without litigation, an attorney still has to prepare an effective strategy prior to filing a lawsuit. For these reasons, filing a lawsuit on the eve of a statute of limitations deadline is not advisable.