Follow the steps below that are advised by a Human Resources Professional-turned-employment attorney on how to get the most out of the relationship with your employment lawyer.
Rule #1: Decide now what you’ll fight for later. What are those issues you are willing to litigate at all costs; those you are willing to settle only upon favorable terms; and those that you will manage on a case-by-case basis.
Rule #2: Know when to call an attorney. As not every decision that involves Human Resources and the Law requires consultation with an attorney, you must understand which decisions have hidden legal dangers. Unfortunately this is often gained through experience in working in HR and also with an attorney. In time, you will learn what the attorney can and cannot do for you.
Rule #3: Ask “How do I do this?” not “Can I do this?” To get the true value from an attorney, ask “how’ to use the law to obtain a result. This will allow the attorney to critically examine the law, weigh alternatives and develop a plan, while allowing you to evaluate the attorney’s analytical ability. In the end, you both will be invested in the solution to the problem.
Rule #4: Help your attorney understand the problem quickly. If the issue has a lengthy history, prepare a written chronology of important events including the date of the event, a brief description of the event and a summary of important details.
Rule #5: Strengthen your HR Programs. Both you and your employment lawyer can assist in the process of driving down your legal costs by continually strengthening your human resource policies, procedures and programs. The better your Human Resource policies and practices, the less money you will need to invest in managing a legal crisis. Examine your HR programs with a critical eye toward identifying areas that are a high risk or that have demonstrated a need for improvement. Your attorney should also be identifying areas where you can improve even after a critical matter.
- When Not To Email Attorney (inc.com)