Do you have some sort of employment dispute and need legal advice? As many attorneys offer free consultations, you will want to make sure you are well prepared in order to make the most of the time. Here, we’ve assembled a list of questions to ask an employment lawyer in your initial consultation. This way, you can choose the attorney that is the best fit for you.
Are you board certified as an employment law specialist?
Of the more than 90,000 attorneys in Texas, less than 10% are Board Certified in any area of the law. Less than 1% are Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law. Board Certification is a mark of excellence and a distinguished accomplishment. To become Board Certified, the attorney must demonstrate to the Board substantial experience in his area of the law and go through a vigorous background investigation where the Board contacts lawyers and Judges familiar with the attorney’s character and qualifications. The attorney must then pass a lengthy and difficult written examination. Board Certified lawyers earn the right to publicly represent themselves as a specialist in a select area of the law. In fact, they are the only attorneys allowed by the State Bar of Texas to do so.
Have you handled this type of case?
Ask your attorney how often they practice employment law. Some attorneys, such as David Langenfeld, are certified specialists in labor and employment law. In order to become board certified, attorneys must demonstrate substantial experience in their area of the law. They undergo vigorous background investigations and pass a lengthy and difficult exam.
Employment lawyers can take on many different types of employment dispute cases. You should look for someone who will understand the particular challenges and emotional toll of your case.
How often does your firm handle my type of employment case?
Were you fired due to your pregnancy? In this case you might need a Texas pregnancy discrimination attorney. Are you trying to sue for overtime? Look for an unpaid overtime lawyer in Texas.
Much like doctors, attorneys tend to concentrate on one or two specific areas of the law, such as employment law, personal injury, criminal law or Texas administrative law. You wouldn’t go to a podiatrist for an earache, would you? Similarly, you need to find an attorney that has worked with your particular employment law case already. If you believe you were fired due to retaliation in Texas, for example, you want to ask what percentage of their cases involves this type of employment matter. The more cases your attorney has handled of your specific type of case, the more likely they will be able to construct a strong argument.
Do you work with employees or employers?
Employment law attorneys that work for employees develop different strategies than those who work for employers. David Langenfeld works for employees. This reduces conflict of interest. Considering that he does not represent employers, he doesn’t have to worry about losing business clients. This enables him to passionately fight for employees.
What can I legally do?
You will want to know all of your options if/when you decide to continue with an EEOC claim or case. It will be impossible for an employee rights lawyer to tell you exactly what you can expect if he or she does not first know the details of your case. This is why it’s important to present them with as much information as possible during your initial consultation. Among the most common resolutions sought include:
- Reinstatement at a job where you were demoted or wrongfully terminated
- Receiving unpaid overtime
- Holding your employers accountable for their actions through punitive damages
- Compensation for lost benefits and wages
- Compensation for pain and suffering due to harassment or discrimination
Depending on the particulars of your case, your attorney might recommend you settle out of court. Alternatively, he or she might recommend you to take your case to trial. In this case, you will want an attorney with ample courtroom experience. Make sure your attorney has as much information about your case as possible. This way they can truly understand the full scope of your case. Although your attorney knows the laws and the system, you need to also feel confident and comfortable with the decisions. Communication is key.
How does the EEOC claims process work?
Making a claim through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can be very daunting. Enlisting the help of an employment lawyer early in the process can help you ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
If you already made an EEOC claim and need to appeal the decision, an employment lawyer can also help with this.
How will I communicate with my Employment Lawyer in Texas?
Communicating clearly is important to your relationship with your attorney. Who would you be speaking with the most? What’s the best way to get in contact with them? Will we be meeting virtually or in person? Knowing how your law firm will communicate from the very beginning will make the process smoother and less stressful for you. A client-centered, professional law firm will be able to explain the lines of communication to you during the initial consult. You should expect them to be able
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.
What are your testimonials and case results?
You can learn a lot from your attorney’s testimonials. Do previous clients highly regard the employee rights lawyer and his firm? This is a good sign and an indication you can trust them with your case. In addition, legal organizations or other respected entities sometimes honor good attorneys with awards and commendations. Check to see if they have any of these awards. Finally, if possible, find an attorney that is a certified specialist in employment law.