Civil rights litigation is not a thing of the past; civil rights cases are more important than ever, as more people go head to head with laws designed to protect people from being discriminated against. However, if you are interested in contacting a lawyer for a civil rights case, there a few things to remember. Let’s look closely at some essential tips to consider when you’re looking for a civil rights lawyer.
Look for a lawyer with specialties or experience
Many lawyers have a specialty in civil rights litigation. If possible, also look for a lawyer who specializes–or at least has notable experience–in the specific case you are interested in pursuing. If you have been denied housing due to discrimination, there are civil rights lawyers who specialize in housing discrimination. If you have been fired due to discrimination, lawyers have special experience in those types of cases.
It’s not always possible to find these niche specialty lawyers, but it doesn’t hurt to look.
Get an interview before you choose
Civil rights cases are rarely easy, and it’s important that you and your lawyer are on the same page before you take a single step further. Before you choose a lawyer for your case, get an interview with them to discuss your circumstances, your case, what you hope to achieve through your case—and then take careful note of their response. Can they offer you examples of previous cases similar to yours that they’ve won? Do they think your case has merit? Do they think they can craft a winning case from the evidence you’ve provided? Will they need anything more from you other than what you’ve already presented?
The lawyer you choose should be upfront and honest with you about their experience, and their opinion on the likely outcome of your case.
Ask about fees and charges
This applies to any legal case: before you agree to hire anyone, find out the exact terms of their fees and charges. Do they charge by the hour? Do they take a percentage of settlements on won cases? Are there any special fees? If your lawyer won’t be clear about their cost, it’s time to look somewhere else.