If you believe and have evidence of being treated differently by your employer based on any one or more of the categories protected by the anti-discrimination laws, then you will want to sit down with a qualified employment discrimination lawyer.
The next question, of course, is, how do you go about finding a lawyer and not just any lawyer, but one that is the right fit for you and your case?
Starting Your Search
You have several options to choose from when considering where to start your search. Referrals and recommendations from friends and family are a great pick. You can also get great referrals from local and state bar services.
Another option is to get on the internet and do your own search. Make use of available resources such as lawyer directories to help you narrow down your search.
What To Look For
So you have come up with several names; how do you choose which employment lawyer to go with for your employment discrimination case? Among the top considerations to help you make the right choice include the following
1. Expertise And Professional Experience
You will no doubt have more confidence in winning your case if the lawyer handling it is an expert on matters of employment discrimination and has worked on similar cases in the past.
Narrow down your choices to employment lawyers who specialize in discrimination cases. When considering the experience, be sure to look beyond the number of cases that are similar to yours that the lawyer has handled.
What’s most important is their proven track record. How many of these cases were successful? While no lawyer can confidently guarantee a win, in any case, their track record will say plenty about what you can expect.
There is so much at stake, and you want to make sure your lawyer is up to the task. Go to the state bar website, explore the lawyer’s website, hear from others, and of course, hear from the lawyer themselves. Succinctly put, do your due diligence and ascertain the employment lawyer’s credentials and experience.
2. Attorney-Client Relationship
Meet up with potentials and find out how they approach or view the attorney-client relationship. Whether your case takes a short time or longer, you will want to know, from the outset, the kind of person that you will be dealing with during that time.
Consider your personality. Are you looking for a friendly, approachable attorney who will gladly hold your hand throughout the litigation process? Or are you looking for someone who is curt and impersonal? Rest assured that you will find a lawyer that matches exactly what you need.
The specifics of an employment discrimination case are not the most pleasant or the easiest to talk about. If you have been discriminated against, because of, say, your race, you want to be able to talk through the details. Your preference should be an employment lawyer who is understanding and encourages open communication and makes you feel comfortable.
3. Attorney Fees And Costs
Can you afford your lawyer? What are the terms of payment? This is a crucial conversation that you get into with your lawyer before going any further.
Most employment lawyers generally work on a contingency basis. This means that instead of charging you by the hour, or a flat rate, the lawyer will take a percentage of the amount that they will help you recover in your case. You will not be charged unless and until you recover damages. If the lawyer doesn’t win the case for you, then there will be no payment to make.
What percentage of the recovered damages the lawyer will ask for will vary from one lawyer to the next. This is expected as there are no stipulations in employment law about how much lawyers should charge for these cases. Keep in mind also that some lawyers may ask for a retainer of sorts.
Do some comparison shopping. If an experienced lawyer is asking for a percentage that is within what is considered a reasonable range, then you may want to go with that employment lawyer.
A professional lawyer will also walk you through the costs in your case, and even give you a rough estimate of what you can expect to spend. These costs include court filing fees, expert fees, among others. Some lawyers will ask that you pay for these costs as they build up. Others will ask that you pay up for these costs in advance. Ensure that you are on the same page about how to go about these court costs from the outset.
A professional employment lawyer will assess the merits of your employment discrimination case, and provide you with legal counsel and professional representation. Invest your time and resources in doing your research so you can select an employment lawyer that is the right fit for you.