Choosing to engage a law firm to assist you with your employment matter can be a daunting task. There are a number of factors to consider whether you are seeking assistance to prepare or review employment contracts, to manage employee performance, to assess your options following a dismissal, or if you feel you have been discriminated against in the area of employment.
Here are some tips to help you find your way when choosing an employment law firm.
Do your research
Not all firms are created equal. Seek out a firm with specialist knowledge; a firm with lawyers who have expertise in employment law and are recognised as leaders in their field. In this way, you can be sure you are receiving considered and well-thought-out advice based on experience and a deep understanding of the relevant areas of law.
Find someone who is affordable, and offers value for money
Seeking legal advice or pursuing a legal claim can be expensive. It is important that you find a lawyer who is upfront with you about the costs that are likely to be incurred, and who provides you with updates on this as you move through the process. Seek a lawyer who offers a fixed fee service so that you can make an informed decision about engagement knowing what costs will be.
Make an appointment
Be sure to phone ahead to make an appointment. Employment law matters can often be time sensitive, and appointments times can therefore fill quite quickly. Additionally, matters that start off as something small and inconsequential can sometimes rapidly grow into an area of much larger concern. Reach out early to ensure you receive the advice you need in a timely fashion.
Ensure your lawyer is able to provide you with consultations via teleconference or video conferencing if required. This can be of great assistance when you live remotely, or are too unwell to come in for a face-to-face appointment.
Find someone who listens
Employment law matters, particularly those involving some sort of a dispute, can be complex. This complexity is often increased as a result of the heightened emotion of the parties involved. It is essential that you find an employment lawyer who is willing to listen to your account of what has occurred. An employment lawyer who will help you to navigate through the events that having unfolded, and help you to pinpoint the key facts and then present you with the legal options that are available to you.
Find someone who is frank, honest and open
At a time that can already be quite stressful, it is important to seek advice from someone who is frank, open and honest. You want to walk away from your initial consultations with your lawyer, understanding what your options are, what the possible obstacles are at that point, and with confidence in your employer’s ability to navigate you through the process. A good lawyer should provide you with updates as to the strength and weaknesses of your matter as new and relevant information comes to hand. A good lawyer should be able to pre-warn you of any possible known pitfalls. There should be no surprises.
Hand in hand with this, be prepared to be open with your lawyer. You cannot expect to be given solid advice if you withhold key details from your lawyer. Let your lawyer decide for themselves what is relevant to your matter. Be prepared for your appointments; bring along a copy of all the relevant documents. It can help sometimes to prepare a timeline of events. This will assist you to remember the details of what has occurred, and assist your lawyer to see how your matter has unfolded over time.