Four ways hiring Denver employment lawyers differs from other lawyers

Most people fortunately will never find themselves in a position to need to hire a Denver employment lawyer but if you are on this site you either know you need an employment lawyer or think you might be on a path that will require one. As a result of so few interactions with employment lawyers, it is common and completely understandable to not know how to find a Denver employment lawyer or what it means to hire an employment lawyer.

Hiring a lawyer is not a terribly unusual experience these days. Many people have experience hiring divorce lawyers, criminal defense lawyers for traffic tickets, probate lawyers or maybe even a personal injury attorney for a car wreck or other injury. Aside from personal injury attorneys, employment lawyers work differently from these other attorneys in important ways (and even differently from many personal injury claims). Today’s post will explore four important ways hiring a Denver employment lawyer is different from hiring other attorneys.

Denver employment lawyer

You are less likely to have a personal referral for Denver employment lawyers

One of the most common ways people find and hire lawyers is through personal referrals by family, friends and other people in their lives. This is especially common in areas of law where you are most likely to know somebody who hired an attorney in the past. Examples in this area include divorce lawyers, traffic ticket lawyers, probate lawyers and estate planning attorneys. Personal referrals are useful ways to find lawyers because they come from reputable sources in your life vouching for the lawyer. Sometimes attorney referrals come from other professionals in your life, such as therapists, doctors and ministers.

On the other hand, you are less likely to know somebody who hired employment lawyers in the past so finding those personal referrals are more difficult. There are also fewer professionals with regular contacts with employee-side employment lawyers unless you work with a union. As a result, your search for Denver employment lawyers may rely more on internet research. (See this post for more information about finding Denver employment lawyers.) You might also reach out to attorney referral services through the Colorado Bar Association or the Denver Bar Association.

The fee structure for legal services may differ from what you paid for other legal services

Employment lawyers often charge fees for legal services on structures different from what you may have experienced in the past. Your past experience with lawyers may have been paying on an hourly basis, which is common in family law, or on a flat fee basis, common in estate planning and traffic ticket legal services. Employment lawyers sometimes charge on an hourly or flat fee basis, particularly when the work involves reviewing or negotiating employment contracts and severance agreements.

However, many employee-side employment law work involves pursuing claims through litigation or other dispute resolution avenues. This work can be expensive and most employees in Colorado do not have the funds to pay for employment lawyers on an hourly basis. Instead Denver employment lawyers may offer to work under a contingency fee agreement, what some call a no win-no fee agreement. Under a contingency fee agreement your lawyers work without payment up front and share in a percentage of proceeds collected in your case. Contingency fees are common in personal injury and consumer law cases as well. These fee agreements allow plaintiff-side attorneys to work diligently for plaintiffs and still receive compensation for their work.

Your labor and employment law claims may involve more technical legal expertise

Most individuals hire lawyers for legal services that do not involve complicated legal analysis. Labor and employment law claims often involve complex legal issues which make these issues more difficult than a lot of other common cases. This legal complexity can make your case more difficult and take longer to resolve. That means your need for an employment lawyer with expertise in the issues in your case is greater.

Many other common legal needs may rely more on other expertise such as negotiation skills or familiarity with the way insurance companies resolve claims. That is not to say other lawyers are less equipped or less intelligent. That is not true. Rather, the usual divorce or traffic citation do not involve complicated legal questions as much as complicated fact issues or knowing how to maneuver the applicable system.

Most Denver employment lawyers represent employers or employees—but not both

It is extremely common for employment lawyers around the country to represent only plaintiff-side employees or defense-side employers. Part of what can make finding an employment lawyer right for your situation is distinguishing between the law firms that represent employees from those who only represent employers. It is not necessary to hire an attorney who only represents workers in employee rights cases but you certainly want an employment lawyer who represent plaintiffs. If you search for employment lawyers online then one issue to review is whether the Denver employment lawyer represents employees.

If you believe you need to hire a Denver employment lawyer then you should locate and research lawyers in your area. You should consider several factors in your search but conduct your search and research within a reasonably short period of time. Many labor and employment law issues require you to act within a limited period of time to preserve your claims.

8 Popular Ways to Find Denver Employment Lawyers Online

For decades lawyer advertising centered on the yellow pages. Even after the Supreme Court concluded advertising bans violated the First Amendment in the 1970s and law firms began running ads on radio, TV, billboards and other outlets, the yellow pages was still the heart of law firm advertising. In the 1990s law firm advertisements became commonplace on television but you could still count on law firms spending money on advertisements in the yellow pages. That’s because as a culture the phone book provided important contact information for businesses and was treated as an authority source merely for publishing free listings of addresses and phone numbers. The yellow pages went away as a dominant law firm advertising resource as the internet grew in popularity and convenience. Today you can find a local lawyer and call right from the search results from a phone in your pocket or purse.

 

Finding lawyers online versus the phone book

Lawyer advertisements online are fundamentally different from the phone book. In the phone book, the publisher controlled the space entirely and law firms only had the choice to pay for the amount of advertisement they wanted. Standard listings were alphabetical without exception. The publication was highly regimented and it had to be because people expected the phone book to provide listings in that format.

On the other hand, the internet is more chaotic. Law firms advertise in search engine listings and spend considerable resources trying to position themselves within the organic search results. There are also businesses providing law firm and lawyer listings of both free and paid opportunities in addition to bar associations and lawyer referral services who provide listings. It’s not always easy to trust that the lawyers you find are the right lawyers to help you with your problems.

Navigating the internet for employment lawyers in Denver

Searching for a Denver employment lawyer online can be confusing and frustrating for several reasons. Many people think of labor law or employment law as a narrow field of law; however, it is a broad area spanning every facet of the employment relationship. These include:

  • Compensation and benefit issues;
  • Insurance law;
  • Finance and investment law;
  • Tax law;
  • Medical leave law;
  • Workers’ compensation;
  • Discrimination;
  • Wrongful termination;
  • Union and other collective employee acts;
  • Personal injury law;
  • HIPAA and other medical information protection laws;
  • Family law;
  • Gun possession law;
  • Criminal law; and several others.

Within this wide span of law you will likely find that not every attorney who practices employment law or labor law deals with every possible employment law issue or has expertise in the facts of a specific situation. Additionally, many employment lawyers in Denver and around the state represent only employees or employers. (Some employment lawyers represent both sides.)

An employee searching for an employment lawyer often begins not knowing if there even is a legal issue or the extent of legal issues involved. That makes it difficult to know what employment lawyers should be on the list to research or contact. As an employee you may have some idea that you have an unpaid wage issue or need a wrongful termination lawyer but there may be several other employment law issues involved in that situation. There is no single perfect path for an employee to take to learn enough about employment law to find the right employment lawyer just by researching online. You may have to contact one or more Denver employment lawyers for a consultation to discuss your situation and determine your next steps.

Conducting a Google search to find a Denver employment lawyer

Today most people begin searching for anything with a Google search and that includes finding a lawyer. (If not Google then another search engine.) Google does not review websites or businesses to categorize their search results. Instead it uses a complex algorithm to assess websites and businesses that it believes best apply to your search terms. For example, if you search “Denver employment lawyers” then the search engine will produce a list of websites it believes belong to Denver employment lawyers based upon the way it reads and scores the content of the website. The ranking for a given website is not an assessment of the quality or skill of the website owner. It only reflects how the website scores against the search algorithm (or a paid placement).

A search request for Denver employment lawyers will produce several types of results:

  • Paid placements;
  • Local results; and
  • Organic search results.

Paid placements

Within the search results you will see paid placements to put employment lawyers in favorable locations within the results. Often paid advertisements appear at the top of search results where you are most likely to click. Like the search algorithm, Google does not assess the advertiser’s skill or expertise before placing an ad. That is not to say the law firm placing the ad is not skilled or knowledgeable about your employee rights situation.

Local results

Local results reflect businesses matching the search terms in proximity to your current location. Local results are organized by its own algorithm that matches information about the business, user reviews and location to deliver a list of law firms that meet your search terms and proximity. The order of law firms produced is similarly not a question of Google conducting a review of the merits of each law firm. It is how much the information it has about each law firm best matches your search terms and location. Certainly the location of a law firm is an important consideration.

Organic search results

Organic search results reflect which employment lawyer website matches your search terms. The search algorithm is a complex formula with a long list of factors that include location, content, page speed, visibility, link profile and other factors related to the website. Google does not review lawyers for ranking, only how the website matches the search terms. Denver employment lawyers appear in various combinations of search terms (often for people searching in Colorado) and can vary widely in placement merely by changing the order of search terms. Law firms, like other businesses, often spend money to produce a website that ranks highly as a form of advertising.

Value of search results for employment lawyers

Although Google does not automatically produce the perfect lawyer in search results every time it can be extremely helpful to search for Denver employment lawyers in a search engine. It is a good way to familiarize yourself with local employment lawyers and their location. It is also a good way to research information about employment lawyers and employment law issues. The more specific your search the more targeted the results so searching for something more specific than “employment lawyers” or “employment lawyers Denver” can be very helpful to find lawyers who might be more familiar with the legal aspects of your specific situation.

Avvo

Avvo is a website that provides access to lawyer listings and other lawyer-related services. Avvo began in 2007 in Seattle with an evolving business model. It is most commonly known for two aspects: lawyer listings and the Q&A forum. Additionally, Avvo offers a legal form platform and a platform to ask lawyers within particular fields questions for a stated sum of money.

One is a lawyer listing system in which lawyer profiles are generated from information obtained from other sites (such as state bar websites) and given a ranking. The ranking formula is proprietary and confidential. Lawyers may claim their profile and add information which appears to improve rankings. Within the listings lawyers can pay to upgrade their account which removed ads for other lawyers from their profile and places them at the top of the listings for regional and legal area listings.

The other is a large free Q&A section organized by state and practice area in which lawyers can answer questions. The Q&A section is largely unmoderated so the answers provided may not be completely accurate. Lawyers gain points by answering questions which can move them up a second listing system categorized by points and practice area.

Avvo is criticized by some lawyers for aspects of the site, such as the ranking system, but it is a convenient place to find disciplinary history for lawyers and find basic information about attorneys who may not have robust websites. Avvo allows users to review attorneys (which it says do not affect ranking) which may be useful to consider.

(Avvo was recently acquired by Martindale.)

Martindale-Hubbell

Martindale-Hubbell (sometimes referred to as just Martindale) began as a paper directory of lawyers in 1868. Today it is an online directory and owns several other lawyer directory and marketing businesses. For most of its history it was considered the authoritative directory of lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell provides a peer review ranking which many lawyers continue to advertise. The business’s website includes law blogs and other legal information in addition to one of the largest lawyer directories in the world.

Lawyers.com

Lawyers.com provides another large directory of lawyers and a Q&A forum. The website was once an independent venture but is now part of Martindale’s collection of lawyer websites. Lawyer profiles on the website include information about the lawyer including:

  • Background;
  • Legal areas practiced by the lawyer;
  • Contact information;
  • Law school and bar admissions;
  • Peer reviews;
  • Client reviews;
  • Access to Q&A answers provided by the lawyer; and
  • Martindale ratings.

The website provides both a paid and free listing option to lawyers. Lawyers who opt for the free listing will display reviews and basic contact information while paid listings provide the other information as well. You can locate lawyers in the listings through location and practice area. For example, you can search for employment lawyers in Denver and find a list of the law firms within the site’s directory.

Lawyers.com is a good way to review information about lawyers although its free listing option provides less information than other free listings like Avvo. It is still another good place to review lawyer information.

Findlaw

Findlaw is one of the largest providers of legal content online including providing law firm websites, marketing and lawyer directories. It began in 1995 with acquisition by what is today Thomson Reuters in 2001. Findlaw sites appear prominently in searches for local lawyers and legal information. The business markets extensively to lawyers and law firms to join its services. The lawyer directory on Findlaw is today entirely paid. Lawyers appearing in the directory have paid to do so and no free listings exist.

Justia

Justia began in 2003 by a former Findlaw employee and provides a similarly large legal information site. Justia provides a wide range of information from statute and cases to Q&A to lawyer directories. The lawyer directory includes paid and free options. The free lawyer profiles contain information about practice areas, contact information and answers by the lawyer in its Q&A forum. You can search for lawyers on the website by location and practice area. Its profiles often also appear in search engine results.

Colorado Bar Association referrals

The Colorado Bar Association is a voluntary state bar available to lawyers across the state and all practice areas. It includes a referral service in which consumers may contact the bar to request a referral by location and practice area. Referrals are made from member lawyers so not all employment lawyers in the state obtain referrals through the service. Nevertheless, it is a good way to find employment lawyers who might be able to help you with your problem.

Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association referrals

The Colorado Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association, or PELA, is a voluntarily association of employment lawyers who represent employees. It is a state affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) which is a voluntary national association of employee rights lawyers.

PELA offers a referrals service for employees seeking an employment lawyer in the state. Like the Colorado Bar Association, referrals are only made to member lawyers. Referrals requested through the website can select from a wide range of employment law issues which may help narrow the focus of a referral to an attorney skilled in your particular issue.

Which is the right way to find a Denver employment lawyer?

There is no single right way to find a Denver employment lawyer. Online research and referrals are good opportunities to find employment lawyers and research whether they may be equipped to help you with your employee rights issue. The profiles and websites for employment lawyers can help you understand which local lawyers may be a potential fit for your needs and may provide answers to employment law questions. Your research may consider several factors and ultimately you may need to schedule a consultation with one or more attorneys to find a Denver employment lawyer that fits your needs.

Denver Labor Law is not affiliated with and did not receive compensation from any entity discussed in this post. Denver Labor Law does not take a position on which, if any, of these entities may provide the best information or the best referral to a lawyer for your needs. If you believe you need an employment lawyer then you should begin researching and contacting law firms as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Rely upon the advice of a licensed attorney to discuss your situation and next steps. 

Find Denver employment lawyers in Colorado

10 Ways to Find an Employment Lawyer

Denver Labor Law provided this quick slideshow presentation about ways to find an employment lawyer in Colorado and anywhere else. Searching for an employment law attorney can range from a quick search on your phone to mining your personal network for referrals. There is not a “right” way to identify an employment lawyer. It may be necessary to apply several ways described here to find a good list of employment law attorneys. You can schedule consultations with their law firms and select the attorney right for your needs.