Choosing an employment lawyer can be difficult and daunting. Doing your homework and knowing what traits your lawyer needs to move your case to a satisfying conclusion is essential.
Look for these top 10 traits when hiring an employment lawyer:
Employment law is a niche field and it pays to choose counsel with experience and a proven record of success. Depending on the nature of the complaint – whether you are fighting a wrongful dismissal dispute, negotiating an employment contract, or navigating a human rights complaint – there are many potential paths forward. Finding a lawyer with knowledge and experience ensures that a complaint moves efficiently toward resolution.
Your lawyer should be honest with you about your prospects for success, as well as the risks and costs involved in pursuing your desired result. The lawyer you choose should zealously advocate on your behalf, while providing realistic advice based on the law and the facts of your case, with your budget and goals in mind.
3. Strong Communication Skills
Laws and legislation can be confusing. Your lawyer should be able to explain the legal theory of your case, answer your questions and present your case in language that is easy to understand. Your lawyer should help you understand the various steps involved in your matter in order for you to be able to provide informed instructions.
No matter the nature, all disputes are emotionally taxing. The lawyer’s job is to take your story and create compelling legal arguments. Every client’s needs and goals are different. Employment lawyers, more than most fields, should be sensitive to the importance of employment to the clients and must listen before arriving at conclusions about the strength of a claim and the right way forward.
You are entitled to expect reasonably prompt and responsive service and communication from your lawyer. Although your file will not be your lawyer’s only file, your lawyer should care about your file and make it a priority. As your case progresses, issues will arise that will require your attention. Your lawyer should, as much as possible, give you reasonable notice with enough time to consult and make an informed decision.
Your lawyer should not lose sight of your goal. All cases have strengths and weaknesses. Perseverance and creativity in the face of weaknesses, while maximizing the cases’ strengths are the hallmarks of a results-oriented lawyer.
Without a clear vision, your file could be met with unnecessary delays and costs. A lawyer is responsible for providing clear advice and setting out realistic timelines for you. As files grow and become more complicated, as matters progress, organization is integral to keep matters progressing on time.
Lawyers are officers of the court and obligated to present your case honestly and candidly. It is important that your lawyer remains respectful and courteous to other parties involved in your dispute. It is no sign of weakness; rather, in most circumstances, communications between parties are admissible evidence in various stages of litigation. Your lawyer puts you in the most positive light by acting civilly with everyone involved in your dispute.
A great employment lawyer knows that cases can change as facts are discovered, as the law develops, and as client goals shift. Your lawyer must be responsive to any changes and prepared to offer you advice based on those changes. Failing to be agile as the litigation landscape shifts limits your opportunities for a successful resolution of your case.
In all a lawyer does on behalf of clients, the lawyer must be well prepared. This includes calls with you, opposing counsel, communications with the court (whether during appearances at hearings or in writing), communications with third parties, and anyone else that impacts your case. Being prepared means knowing the facts, working up legal issues, and ensuring that your file is adequately staffed. You should have confidence that your lawyer and her or his team are ready to meet the challenges of your case head-on.
Here at Levitt LLP we embody these qualities. We are relied upon by thousands of employees and employers, and we have a reputation for achieving results for our clients. We view ourselves to be the leaders in employment law in Canada and have the senior experienced lawyers necessary to deal with even the most complex situations. Schedule a consultation today with one of our lawyers to learn about your options.