If you ever feel like you have been the victim of discrimination, or if you believe the police or a local government have violated your rights, you might be in need of a civil rights lawyer.
A civil rights attorney focuses on cases that include gender equality, human rights, discrimination and more. Sometimes, you might not even realize that you have been the victim of illegal discrimination. It takes a good civil rights attorney to help you figure it all out.
How do you find a good civil rights attorney?
There are a number of things to look for in your civil rights attorney. Here’s a checklist on choosing the right one:
- Look up national and local civil rights group, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Association for Retired People (AARP) and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Try google for other groups in your area, and if you’re a member of a union, see your union rep. He or she will likely have an attorney for you.
- Ask a friend or family member in the legal profession to recommend someone. Sometimes, your friends and family will have very good names to offer.
- Schedule an appointment with a civil rights attorney immediately. A lot of laws involving civil rights have statutes of limitations, and you don’t want too much time to pass. You could end up losing the right to file a lawsuit.
- Take as long as you think you need with your first consultation, but you should go in with a five-minute statement that accurately and concisely explains your situation. Also include in that statement what you want to receive in the case. Be as specific as possible when the lawyer questions you.
- If you expect a trial, go watch your potential lawyer in court. Sometimes, lawyers are more effective in the courtroom than they are when meeting one-on-one, while some lawyers are just the opposite.
- Look up the attorney’s record when it comes to cases that are similar to yours. Did he or she win more than they lost?
- Sometimes, your attorney will give you preliminary directions, tasks you must complete before you can file a lawsuit. It’s important that you listen to your potential lawyer or lawyer and follow any of those pre-lawsuit instructions.
- Take the attorney’s advice to your trusted confidants, like friends or family. Talk with them about what your attorney said you should do. Ask them for their opinions, and consult with as many people as possible before making the final determination on whether to move forward with a lawsuit.
Do you feel that you or someone you love has been the victim of unlawful discrimination? Contact Jacqueline Ford’s law office today for help.