If you've been wrongfully terminated or experienced harassment or discrimination in the workplace, you may feel you have no way to fight back against the injustice you've experienced. While you may feel overwhelmed at pursuing justice alone, having a Kansas City, MO employment lawyer on your side will give you the confidence you need to stand up to your employer and seek the compensation you deserve.
6 Tips for Finding an Effective Employment Lawyer in Kansas City, MO
1. Talk to Trusted Friends and Family Members
Crowd-sourcing the people closest to you can be an excellent way to find a reputable employment lawyer. Since employment law may not come up in casual conversation, you may be surprised to find out some of the people closest to you have experience filing a lawsuit against an employer or know someone who has.
Once you've encountered someone who has used a Kansas City, MO attorney, you'll want to ask them how their experience was with the lawyer and if they were satisfied with the outcome of their case. Not only can recommendations help you find a fantastic lawyer, but they can also help you know who to avoid if someone you know has had a bad experience with a particular firm.
2. Stay Local
Since employment laws vary from state to state, you'll want to stay local when selecting a lawyer to handle your case. If you live in one state and work in another, you will benefit from working with a lawyer in the state of your employment. While some lawyers may handle cases that cross state lines, you'll want to make sure you ask during the consultation to ensure you work with a lawyer familiar with employment laws in your state.
3. Do Your Research
Before you start scheduling a consultation with the first lawyer you find online, thoroughly examine their websites and check their standing with the American Bar Association. On the bar website, you can ensure that no disciplinary actions have been taken against the lawyer you are considering and that they are in good standing. By perusing their website, you can also get a good idea of how conscientious and professional an attorney is.
While you aren't necessarily looking for the lawyer with the catchiest logo, or most modern site, you want to make sure their website looks legitimate. A professional-looking page is how a lawyer presents themselves to potential clients. An attorney who doesn't care enough about their business to have a reasonably attractive webpage is a lawyer that might not handle your case with the professionalism you need to be successful.
4. Schedule Multiple Consultations
Once you've researched lawyers in your area, you'll want to schedule consultations with the prospects that seem the most promising. This consultation will allow you to talk to the attorney in person and get an impression of their personality and professionalism. Sometimes your personality may not mesh with an attorney's personality.
Since you'll be interacting with them consistently for the duration of your case, steer clear of lawyers you don't feel comfortable talking candidly to or ones that intimidate you. Speaking with multiple lawyers also gives you a better idea of the level of professionalism you should expect and what kind of approach you prefer. During these consultations, you aren't just looking for the best lawyer; you are looking for the lawyer that is the best fit for you and your case.
5. Don't Shy Away From Asking Questions
When you arrive at your consultations, have a list of questions prepared to ask prospective lawyers. Quality Kansas City employment lawyers will appreciate your proactiveness and be eager to answer your questions. Asking questions also allows you to evaluate how an attorney communicates complex information.
Working with a lawyer who can explain layered legal issues in language accessible to a layperson will make filing your claim much easier since you'll be able to count on them to explain things in a way you understand. Once an attorney has had a chance to go over the critical elements of your case, you'll want to ask them what kind of strategy they think would be appropriate, the strength of your case, and the type of outcome you can anticipate.
6. Check References and Reviews
Established attorneys will be able to provide you with a list of past clients who are happy with their work. These references can provide valuable insight into an attorney's work ethic, professionalism, and legal knowledge. You can also check a potential attorney's online reviews to get an idea of their skill level. You'll want to watch out for firms with nothing but five-star reviews because they could be paying for positive feedback or offering incentives for good reviews.
Alternatively, make sure to steer clear of lawyers with mostly negative ratings. Instead, look for attorneys with good to excellent feedback; one or two poor reviews aren't a dealbreaker. Still, you'll want to read them and see if numerous clients had the same complaint about an attorney because that indicates a pattern of poor performance.
Choosing to file a claim against an employer can feel intimidating, but the process doesn't have to be stressful when you work with an experienced and professional lawyer. Perform your due diligence when choosing a lawyer, and you'll have confidence knowing your wrongful termination or discrimination suit is in the right hands.