How do I Choose the Best Employment Law Attorney?

M. Lupica

There are various events that could lead to your seeking out an employment law attorney, and no matter the circumstances, it is important to choose the right one. First and foremost, it is important that you have a grasp on what are the exact events that brought about your legal issue so that you can find an attorney who has experience dealing with similar issues. Second, if possible, you want to make sure that the attorney has a good track record in dealing with those issues. Lastly, you will have to find an office that will fit your budget.

A sexual harassment attorney focuses his or her practice on sexual harassment cases in the workplace.
A sexual harassment attorney focuses his or her practice on sexual harassment cases in the workplace.

There are many different spheres of employment law and an employment law attorney is going to have certain levels of expertise within each sphere. For instance, one employment law attorney might specialize in workplace discrimination cases while another may specialize in cases involving sexual harassment in the workplace. Though both of these fall under the broad umbrella of “employment law,” the legal issues to be considered are different in each, and thus one attorney has a clear advantage over the other depending on the issue. By understanding into what niche your issue fits, you can ask the right questions to determine who is right for you.

An experienced employment attorney is often ideal.
An experienced employment attorney is often ideal.

Perhaps the most important factor in differentiating one employment law attorney from another who operates within the same sphere of employment law is his or her experience. While a young attorney is not necessarily less qualified, the fact of the matter is that attorneys generally benefit from experience. All things being equal, you want to go with the more experienced attorney. Of course all things are not always equal, so trust your gut if both appear qualified but you feel more comfortable with the less experienced attorney.

The single best way to find a good employment law attorney is through a reference from someone who had a similar issue and had a positive outcome. This way you not only know the attorney navigated another client through similar waters, but you know he or she got the result that you are seeking. It is also recommended that you contact the Board of Bar Examiners from the jurisdiction in which the attorney is licensed to practice and find out if he or she has been subjected to any disciplinary matters.

While you do not want to sacrifice quality for a cheaper attorney, it is necessary to consider your budget. This should not be the most important consideration by any means, but if you are operating on a limited budget you should tell the attorney in the initial interview. This is especially appropriate in employment law cases as a positive outcome will often result in the awarding of damages. Therefore, you may be able to work out an agreement where the attorney will get a percentage of your award — called a “contingency agreement” — instead of paying hourly fees.

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