Trust is what matters when hiring an employment lawyer that is going to help you get the desired resolution to your case. Whether you are seeking counsel for the first time or looking to make some changes from your current representation, you need to find someone that you feel comfortable with on a personal and a professional level.
Although finding the right lawyer, especially during a time of stress, can seem like a daunting prospect, there are a few guiding principles you can use to inform your search.
1. An expert in the field
Ideally you want to find someone who has an established reputation among peers and is an expert in the field. Employment law is a complicated area of law and the rules change on a regular basis. Having someone who is not up to date could put you or your organizations at unnecessary risk. Be wary of lawyers practicing in multiple facets of law. Although these people may be competent in all the fields they dabble in, you will likely want to find someone who spends at least half of their time working on employment cases. It is a complicated field that is difficult to stay on top on if you’re juggling many different practice areas.
2. Figure out which team they are on
Although the legal world can be a bit intimidating to navigate, it is worth noting that generally speaking, employment lawyers are in the business to represent either management or employees. Although you will be able to find example of people who do both, they are typically the exception which proves the rule. A rule of thumb that often rings true, is that lawyers who represent employees tend to be in smaller firms or solo practitioners.
3. Ask about subspecialisation
Also make note of the fact that even within the realm of employment law, lawyers still have a subspecialty within the field. Different personality types are naturally drawn to different cases and you want someone who has a track record you feel good about. Some lawyers like representing whistleblowers while others might prefer to represent the organization, it’s important to know who you are dealing with.
4. Look for an active listener
When it comes to employment law, each individual case is personal and unique. Sometimes people who have been working in a field for a long time stop seeing individuals and lump situations into categories. You want to work with someone who approaching your case with a fresh perspective and is willing to listen actively to what you have to say. Active listening means asking good questions and drawing out all the relevant facts underlying the legal issue, in addition to the context and circumstances relevant to solving the problem.
5. A willingness to go the extra mile
In addition to someone who treats you like an individual and takes your case seriously, you want to find an attorney with a high sensitivity to risk tolerance. A truly good lawyer will be able to explain to you different levels of risk and develop various options for getting you where you want to be with varying and associated costs to you. Once you have all this information at your disposal, you are able to proceed in choosing the action that is the best for match for your goal and the kind of risk tolerance you are looking to incur. You should always feel that your employment lawyer is presenting you with options and going out of their way to explain the possible outcomes of all courses of action available to you in your situation.