How do I choose the right lawyer?
In a highly competitive marketplace, it can be difficult to differentiate one employment law firm from the next. Here are a few questions to ask to determine which firm is right for you:
- Are they actually lawyers? This might sound strange at first, but unfortunately there are a number of “industrial advocates” operating in Australia who are not legally qualified. This means they can only perform work in certain jurisdictions and are not subject to the same training, qualification and ethical standards as qualified lawyers.
- Are they specialists? Employment law is a unique practice area which means it is always best to go with a firm that specialises only in employment law and understands the intricacies of the area.
- Are they independent? Many firms will also perform work for employers meaning they spend part of their time fighting against employee rights. Many firms also have referral networks with unions, whose primary interest usually lies in the collective (rather than individual) interest of members.
- Do they have a track record? Ask the firm whether they have previously handled and won cases similar to yours. If not, they may be lacking the necessary experience to obtain the best outcome for you.
- Will you be dealing with a senior lawyer? Many firms will offer an initial appointment with a senior lawyer, only to then hand you over to a junior lawyer after you have engaged them. Employment law claims can be complex and should always be handled by an experienced lawyer.