Every attorney can handle any matter. By virtue of the fat that we have been admitted to practice law, we have been deemed competent to handle any legal matter – including employment law. But that does not mean that every lawyer is actually a competent employment attorney. Here are my top criteria for what makes an employment attorney:
An employment attorney has actually handled employment matters in court.
Even if you just need advice, an attorney who has actually tried cases in court will have insights into how the matter might play out. Insights into the implications of your employment dispute will help you get practical wisdom form your attorney, even if it never ends up in court.
An employment attorney has managed employees.
I would be concerns about taking coaching advice from a guy who has never played the game. I am not saying that every basketball coach has to be a star like Michael Jordan, but he should have at least played the game for some time. The same applies to an employment attorney. They may know the law, but because we are talking about people and their relationships, a real employment attorney will also know the practical implications of taking certain actions in an employment dispute. Again, I am not saying that an employment attorney must have been an HR manager, but they will have had some experience managing people, hiring people and, yes, even letting employees go.
An employment attorney practices in federal court.
There are several types of employment cases that end up in federal court. An employment attorney will be admitted in the federal courts as well as his local state courts.
An employment attorney has experience in alternative dispute resolution.
Not only do many employment lawsuits end up in arbitration or mediation, but having an alternative dispute resolution background will help an employment attorney think outside the box and find good resolutions to employment disputes.
I hope this helps you think about what makes a good employment attorney. If we can help you, please give us a call.