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7 Tips To Find The Best Wrongful Termination Lawyer Near Me

Proving that you’ve been unlawfully terminated can be daunting. Employees face an uphill battle navigating the legal landscape and proving their claim against an employer’s legal defenses. When you’ve been illegally fired, having a skilled lawyer in your corner can make or break your case—and opportunity to recover compensation.

However, the search for a competent and trustworthy legal advocate can be daunting for employees. How can I tell who’s the best wrongful termination lawyer near me?

In this blog post, we’ll walk through some strategies to help employees find a qualified wrongful termination lawyer and build a strong case for compensation.

What Is Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination happens when an employee loses their job under illegal circumstances. Because California is an at-will employment state, your boss can generally fire you at any time, even without a good reason.

However, employers are prohibited by law from firing employees for certain specific reasons. These include firing you:

  • For discriminatory reasons—because of race, gender, religion, disability, pregnancy status, or other protected characteristic;
  • As retaliation for reporting wrongdoing—e.g., complaining about harassment, unsafe working conditions, and illegal activity in the workplace;
  • As punishment for exercising your legal rights—e.g., applying for workers’ compensation or requesting family or medical leave; or
  • In violation of an employment contract—like firing you before the contract ends or with false justification.

Employers who terminate employees under circumstances such as these can face penalties under California and federal law. With the help of an employment lawyer, an employee can bring a wrongful termination claim to hold a company accountable for violating their rights and win financial compensation for the wrong they’ve suffered.

How Do I Find a Lawyer for My Wrongful Termination Case?

If you have a wrongful termination claim, you’ll need the help of an employment lawyer familiar with California’s state and local labor laws. Here are some tips employees can use throughout the search for legal representation for a wrongful termination claim.

1. Get Referrals

You may not realize it, but the people close to you may have experience seeking legal support. Reach out to family and friends to see if anyone can recommend an attorney specializing in employment law. Be sure to ask them questions about their experience working with any legal professional, e.g., How long did it take to resolve the case? Was it easy to contact them with questions or for meetings? Were they honest and straightforward about fees?

2. Read Reviews Online

There are many places online where you can read testimonials about law firms and individual lawyers. However, it’s a good idea to take what you read on these websites with a grain of salt—especially if reviews are anonymous. It’s only too easy for a dissatisfied customer or professional rival to sabotage a firm’s reputation with a couple of misleading reviews. The Better Business Bureau can be a more reliable resource for online ratings of legal professionals.

3. Search Through a Professional Organization

Professional organizations for employment lawyers can be another resource for finding representation. For example, the National Employment Lawyers Association allows individuals seeking legal assistance to search for member-attorneys in their area. There are also similar organizations at the state level. The California Employment Lawyers Association gives state residents the ability to narrow their search for an employment lawyer by city, county, and language as well.

4. Look into the State Bar Association

The local branch of the State Bar Association can also be a valuable resource for employees looking for representation. The California State Bar website has a directory of information about members, including if they’ve been subject to any disciplinary actions. The State Bar can also connect you to an attorney referral service that can give you more guided support as you narrow your search.

5. Focus on Areas of Specialization

When you’re searching, keep an eye out for attorneys who specialize in the specific type of wrongful termination you suffered. Even among employment lawyers, some attorneys will have more experience with particular types of wrongful termination claims, e.g., discrimination cases, contract violation cases, or retaliation cases.

6. Explore Employment Attorney Websites

If you’re considering an attorney or firm, take a close look at how they portray themselves on their website. A site with detailed, up-to-date information about the firm and its practice areas is a good sign. You should also be able to read about the background, education, and specializations of each of the legal professionals currently practicing there. If the information on a website seems out-of-date or overly generic, that could be a red flag.

7. Schedule Consultations

Once you’ve narrowed down your options to two or three firms, it’s time to schedule one-on-one consultations. A consultation gives you a chance to meet your potential representative and assess if they’ll be a good fit for your case. It’s a good idea to prepare for these meetings: Look into any recent state or local laws that could impact your claim and get ready to ask about them. Bring any documents relevant to your case with you. This is your last chance to get a sense of your potential advocate’s expertise and communication abilities. Pay close attention to how the attorney interacts with you. Are they actively listening and responding to your questions? Are they sharing their thoughts about the strong and weak points of your case? Do you feel comfortable with them?

Legal knowledge and experience are important in any wrongful termination case, but so is client-attorney trust. If you don’t feel secure and reassured by a lawyer’s behavior in your consultation, they may not be a good choice for you.

Compensation Comes from Quality Representation

There’s no shortage of legal professionals in the world. But when it comes to the high stakes of a wrongful termination claim, you shouldn’t settle for just any legal advice. Finding a skilled and reliable attorney requires more work than a simple Google search for “best wrongful termination lawyer near me.” The time you take to search for and vet an employment lawyer can have a significant impact down the road on the success of your case and chances for recovering compensation.

For over a decade, Lawyers for Justice, PC, has been committed to helping level the playing field between workers and employers in legal disputes. During that time, our uncompromising and strategic approach to litigation has earned us a reputation as some of the most dedicated advocates for employees who’ve been wrongfully terminated in California. Our team prides itself on our size and diversity: No case is too big, and no situation is outside our understanding. If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, reach out to our office today to speak with an employment attorney about how we can help you.