Are you an employee or an employer? That is the first question to answer in deciding how to hire an employment attorney.
Employment attorneys, like other lawyers, usually represent only employees or employers, so, in hiring an employment attorney, make sure that the lawyer is on the correct side of the fence for your needs.
After making that initial decision, the question then becomes what issue or issues are of concern? As an employee, do you want to hire an employment attorney to represent you in a claim or issue that you have against your employer? If an employer, are you looking for someone to provide advice on a number of different topics that confront employers on a daily basis, or are you looking for someone with specialized knowledge to handle a specific topic?
Some attorneys, whether representing employees or employers, specialize, that is, they limit their practices to particular areas of employment law, such as discrimination, wrongful terminations, wage and hour, employee benefits, leave issues, OSHA, worker's compensation, or other areas of employment law. Other lawyers have broader based practices and so are knowledgeable about laws that range over the entire employment landscape. Still others may concentrate their practices in particular industries, such as retail, hospitality, financial institutions or government. Some law firms, called "boutiques," limit their practices solely to representation of employees or employers. Other law firms have broad-based practices, but have attorneys who have expertise in employment matters.
How do you hire the best employment lawyer for your particular needs? Ask around. Don't be bashful, but you needn't go into details. If you're an employer, ask other employers of similar size and similar businesses for referrals. If you're an employee, ask colleagues, friends and others for suggestions.
If uncertain, contact a local bar association's lawyer referral service for referrals to lawyers who have expertise in employment law. Oftentimes, local bar associations provide no-fee initial consultations. and lawyers on the employment panels may charge fees less than the going rates in a particular community.
The most important consideration of all in hiring an employment attorney, whether as an employer or an employee, is that you have trust and confidence in the attorney selected. Take the time to make the right decision in hiring an employment attorney. Interview each prospective attorney. It is an important decision, and one that takes care and thought to make sure that you hire the right employment attorney to represent you.