20 Sep What questions should I ask an employment lawyer before a consultation?
Hiring an employment lawyer may seem stressful because while you are dealing with the uncertainties of your case, you are also trying to navigate the uncertainties of whether a lawyer can assist you, how long they will provide their services, and how much it will cost you in the process. However, lawyers are here to help, organize, educate, and make things easier for you.
When beginning a relationship with an employment lawyer, there are questions that you may ask to put your mind at ease and help prepare you for future consultations.
Some questions that a potential client may ask include:
1. Have you had experience working with this type of case?
This question is important to ask because employment lawyers handle many different cases within this field of law. They handle cases about Wrongful Dismissals, Workplace Harassment, Employment Contract Review etc. that all involve different processes and responsibilities. This is a good question to make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer and trust that they know how to best handle your case.
2. What is your experience in this field?
Becoming aware of the experience a lawyer possesses is good for trust and for the client to understand the cost of their legal services. Lawyers who have been working longer in the field may cost more, however there is a much better chance that your case will be handled correctly and with efficiency because they have managed this issue many times before.
3. How am I charged for your services?
Many lawyers charge differently and have different rates, because as stated above, they all have different experience in the same field. This can help you prepare for future payments and budget as you see fit.
4. What is your proposed plan of action for my case?
It may be important to know whether the lawyer believes your case can be settled or whether it is likely it will be taken to court. This question is beneficial for preparation purposes and to get a sense of the lawyer’s purpose and efficiency.
5. What do you think the outcome may be?
This is a great question to ask because if your purpose does not align with the lawyer’s purpose, then it will not equate to a good relationship with this lawyer. It is normal to receive second or third opinions if there is apprehension with the answer you have received. Getting alternative opinions can be very informative because it demonstrates whether the outcome you have in mind is even possible, or whether there are better solutions available.
6. How long, approximately, will my case take to finalize?
A lawyer who acts in the client’s best interest will want to handle the case as quickly and effectively as possible. This question can help you get a sense of their intentions and how much they care about resolving your case with urgency.
7. What can I do to best prepare?
The lawyer will most likely ask for documents like your Employment Contract, Termination Notice, Lay-off Notice, relevant correspondence etc. If you want to read more about how to best prepare for a consultation, our article “Contacting an Employment Lawyer: How can I best prepare for a consultation?” provides these answers in greater detail.