There are a large number of laws that can potentially affect an employee and most of them are very complex. While in years past an attorney with a general practice could assist an employee with his or her case, employment laws are becoming more complex and require the expertise of an attorney who is an expert in employment law issues.
The first step to finding an employment attorney who can help your case is to ask friends, family, and business acquaintances for a referral. Another way to find an employment attorney is through a local bar association. There are hundreds of bar associations in the United States. Not all states require licensed attorneys to belong to a particular bar association; however, most attorneys are members of at least one country, state, county, city, or practice-type bar association. These associations usually have attorney referral plans to match the public with their members. Because employment law is state-specific, you should look for an attorney who is licensed in your state.
Along with bar associations, you can find attorneys through other organizations that they belong to. The National Employment Lawyers Association (www.nela.org) has listings of employment attorneys throughout the country. There are also several online associations that match clients and attorneys. There are websites of various association and organizations in your local directory that might be helpful.
Finally, when looking for a lawyer you can always do an Internet search on words like “employment law,” “discrimination,” “wrongful termination,” “termination,” “fired,” or “unemployment benefits,” plus the name of your state. This will bring up a variety of law firms and attorneys’ websites. Being able to read about a law firm and the attorney via a professional, legitimate website is a helpful way to determine if this particular attorney or firm can help you.
Occasionally, I will be asked by a potential client about going up against a big company or a company that is the only employer in town. The employee fears that attorneys in that town will be biased in favor of the big company and are concerned about finding someone who can help them. If you find yourself in this position, you should contact a large law firm in one of the bigger cities in your state. More often than not, the actual courtroom or agency office is actually located in that big city, which makes it easy for the attorney to appear in the court and eliminates the concern of any influence from the employer.