When you are searching for the right legal representation, it can be hard to decide who to chose. There are important questions to ask an employment lawyer that will guide you in selecting the best firm for your needs.
What to Ask Before Hiring an Employment Lawyer
Here are seven critical questions to ask an employment lawyer before you sign on the dotted line:
1. What particular experience do you have that would make you the right fit for my employment matter?
Employment law firms will differ in size, and some may have a team of lawyers that have years of experience in a particular practice area such as Wrongful Termination, Unpaid Overtime, Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, or other areas of employment law. That kind of support is very valuable in helping to get the best outcomes. During your consultation, ask about the depth of experience the firm has for your type of potential case.
2. What is the percentage of cases your firm handles that make up my type of employment matter?
Similar to when you are making other important decisions, such as choosing a medical specialist for a particular illness or injury, you want to pick one who has worked with a number of people like you.
If you believe you were fired due to pregnancy discrimination, for example, you want to ask what percentage of their cases involves this type of employment matter.
3. What kind of results are the most likely scenarios for me and my case?
It’s critical to know the possibilities of what can happen if/when you decide to move forward with an EEOC claim or case. This is near the top of the list of questions to ask an employment lawyer. Setting these expectations in the beginning — from best to worst case scenario — will help you throughout the whole process. An employee rights lawyer can’t tell you with absolute certainty what is going to happen but can give you an idea of the different kinds of results that you may expect. These may include:
- Getting reinstated to a job when you were demoted or wrongfully terminated
- Receiving unpaid overtime
- Compensation for lost wages and/or benefits
- Holding employers accountable for their actions
- Remuneration for pain and suffering due to discrimination or harassment
If the firm has delivered positive results in your type of employment matter before, they are much more likely to deliver positive results in the future. Keep this in consideration when making your decision.
4. What are my legal options?
Depending on what has happened, the attorney may recommend you take your case to trial or settle out of court. It is crucial to make sure they listen and truly understand the full scope of the issue. They are the ones with the legal understanding of the system and the laws, but you should be able to be confident and feel comfortable with that decision, whatever it is (trial or otherwise). Communication is key to understanding your legal options.
5. What are your lines of communication?
Clarity in communications is crucial to your relationship with your attorney. Ask questions about the process. Who would be the primary contact for the case or claim? What are the varying lines of communication: email, phone, etc.? Knowing how your law firm will communicate from the very beginning will make the process smoother and less stressful for you. Professional, experienced, and client-centered firms will be able to explain the lines of communication to you during the initial consult. They should also be able to talk to you about the law in a way you can understand.
6. What types of testimonials and recognitions have you received?
There is much you can learn from testimonials. If previous clients highly regard the employee rights lawyer and his/her firm, that is a good sign and a clear indication they can be trusted to handle your case. Also, if legal organizations or other respected entities also honor the lawyer and/or firm, this provides you with even more valuable information to consider when making your decision about hiring a firm for your employment law matter.
Time to Make a Decision
The answers to these 7 questions to ask an employment lawyer can give you the insight you need to make an informed decision about which attorney to hire. When Workplace Discrimination, Workplace Harassment, Unpaid Overtime, and violations of the FMLA occur, among other areas of employment law, making the right choice for an attorney has a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
If you have questions about Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., start with reading our story here. We provide free, confidential consultations regarding illegal workplace violations, tackling the issues that affect you and your family.
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.