how to choose the right civil rights lawyer

by Adam McCullough 3 min read

How to Choose the Right Civil Rights Lawyer.

  • 1. Many organizations will have affiliated attorneys that they can recommend, with experience and an excellent track record, for cases similar to your ...
  • 2. If you know anyone in the legal field, ask them for a recommendation. You may also contact the state bar association to get a referral of qualified ...
  • 3. Schedule a consultation as soon as possible with an attorney. Many civil rights laws have limitations on how much time can pass before a lawsuit ...
  • 4. Spend plenty of time with the lawyer at the consultation, but be organized: preferably with a clear outline of what you have to say if you had to ...

How to Find a Civil Rights Attorney
  1. Ask family and friends if they have ever used a civil rights attorney before. ...
  2. Organizations that are focused on civil rights often have recommendations for local civil rights attorneys. ...
  3. Ask any friends, acquaintances, or family members who may be attorneys.
Nov 7, 2016

Full Answer

What are the rights of a civil rights attorney?

They also preserve individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, and movement. In order to practice law as a civil rights attorney, one must have a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor Law degree.

How do I choose the right lawyer?

The first step in the process of choosing the right lawyer, then, is the research phase. Ideally, you want to start with the names of several lawyers, and, as with the purchase of most other services, personal referrals are often the best place to start.

How do I find a civil rights lawyer?

To find a competent civil rights lawyer, you need to gather referrals and then meet with a few lawyers for a consultation. Ultimately, the decision of whether to hire a lawyer is up only to you. You can make an informed decision by researching the attorney’s experience and paying attention to certain warning signs.

Should you pursue a career in civil rights law?

Because civil rights law is a field where jobs are highly sought after, students with an interest in this career path should attempt to work for a civil rights organization during law school, she suggests.


What should I look for when choosing a lawyer?

Comfort. The first, and perhaps most important, quality is that you should feel comfortable in your counselor's presence. ... Clear Fee Structure. ... The Record. ... Communication and Availability. ... Finding the Right Lawyer for You.

What are some examples of civil rights violations?

Some examples of civil rights violations include:Unreasonable searches and seizures.Cruel and unusual punishment.Losing a job or being passed over for a promotion due to discrimination.Abuse by a public official.Any discrimination based on a superficial quality or belief.

Who is the most famous civil rights lawyer?

(CNN) When he gives a speech, Ben Crump often springs an uncomfortable question on his audience. The man who has been called "Black America's attorney general" asks listeners if they can name five Black people who have been killed by excessive police force.

What do human rights lawyers fight for?

Human rights lawyers work to defend and advocate for victims of human rights violations in addition to shaping future laws and regulations that ensure the equality and civil rights of every group of people.

What are the 3 basic civil rights?

What are civil rights? Civil rights are an essential component of democracy. They're guarantees of equal social opportunities and protection under the law, regardless of race, religion, or other characteristics. Examples are the rights to vote, to a fair trial, to government services, and to a public education.

What are the 5 civil rights?

Civil LibertiesFreedom of speech.Freedom of the press.Freedom of religion.Freedom to vote.Freedom against unwarranted searches of your home or property.Freedom to have a fair court trial.Freedom to remain silent in a police interrogation.

What are civil rights charges?

It's a federal crime when a person who is acting under "under color of any law" (that is, under governmental authority or the pretense of authority) violates another person's civil rights "willfully" (18 U.S.C. § 242).

What's the difference between attorney and lawyer?

Attorney vs Lawyer: Comparing Definitions Lawyers are people who have gone to law school and often may have taken and passed the bar exam. Attorney has French origins, and stems from a word meaning to act on the behalf of others. The term attorney is an abbreviated form of the formal title 'attorney at law'.

Why are civil rights attorneys important?

It is the responsibility of civil rights attorneys to fight for justice and equality for their clients. This includes upholding the rights of men, women and children, regardless of their race, religion, color or sexual preference, as well as individuals whose civil rights were violated by law enforcement.

What are human rights violations?

A human rights violation is the disallowance of the freedom of thought and movement to which all humans legally have a right. While individuals can violate these rights, the leadership or government of civilization most often belittles marginalized persons.

Who do human rights lawyers represent?

“Human rights lawyer” refers to any lawyer who provides legal counsel to victims of human rights violations, regardless of membership in a professional association. These lawyers carry out a professional defence of human rights.

How much does a human rights lawyer get paid?

The salaries of Human Rights Lawyers in the US range from $25,058 to $676,300 , with a median salary of $122,252 . The middle 57% of Human Rights Lawyers makes between $122,252 and $305,337, with the top 86% making $676,300.

What are some good resources for finding a lawyer?

State bar associations are also good resources for finding lawyers who practice in the field in which you require assistance. Online resources can be another good source, and many such resources have the added benefit of offering consumer reviews, so you can see how other people have rated their interactions with a particular attorney.

Do lawyers work by themselves?

The legal team. Some lawyers work by themselves, while others have paralegals on their team or outsource some of the legal work to other lawyers. You want to make sure you know who will be handling your file, as this can have an impact on both the quality of the service you receive and the cost. Communication.

What to do if you are assaulted by police?

If you were assaulted by police while visiting relatives in another state, then you will need to hire an attorney who works in that state. You cannot hire an attorney in your home state to represent you.

How to find a civil rights lawyer?

To find a competent civil rights lawyer, you need to gather referrals and then meet with a few lawyers for a consultation. Ultimately, the decision of whether to hire a lawyer is up only to you. You can make an informed decision by researching the attorney’s experience and paying attention to certain warning signs.

How to get a civil rights attorney?

Most of these bar associations run referral programs. By contacting the referral program, you can get the name of one or more civil rights attorneys.

What documents can an attorney see?

These documents can include emails, letters, memos, and police reports. An attorney will want to see them when you meet for a consultation. If you have a lot of documents, then it might be helpful to create a binder in which you can store witness statements, communications, and official reports.

What is employment discrimination?

Employment discrimination. This is a common form of civil rights lawsuit. Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy), religion, race, national origin, and color. It also prohibits harassment on the basis of these protected categories. [1]

How to find the state disciplinary agency?

You should find the state’s disciplinary agency by searching the Internet for “lawyer discipline” and then the state.

What is legal aid?

Contact legal aid organizations. These organizations provide free or legal services to people in financial need (often defined as those within 125% of the federal poverty level). [11]

Why are police misconduct cases based on a violation of freedom of speech?

Torture to coerce confessions. Civil rights derive from federal legislation and the Constitution, which is why many police misconduct and civil rights cases are based on a violation of freedom of speech, the right to due process, right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

Why is it important to have a lawyer?

Trust goes both ways. It is very important to help your lawyer best represent you by always being truthful with your lawyer.

What to do if a police officer violates your civil rights?

If a police or law enforcement officer has violated your civil rights, you may want to contact a civil rights lawyer to discuss your options. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a lawyer.

What are the traits of a good police attorney?

Some of the most important traits include experience, openness, and communication. Asking questions related to the amount of police misconduct and civil rights cases the attorney has handled and the outcomes of those cases can help you tap into the experience of your potential attorney.

What is the right to fair and equal treatment?

This means that everyone is entitled to fair and equal treatment in all areas of society, including education, employment, housing, and others. If those rights were to be violated, such as in the case of police misconduct and civil rights violations, the victim is entitled to legal action.

What is civil rights lawyer?

Since one of the main purposes of civil rights is to protect individuals against discrimination and unfair treatment, a civil rights lawyer is an attorney who deals with discrimination claims.

What are the rights of an individual?

As an individual in the United States, you are entitled to basic rights – civil rights. Though civil rights have been historically associated with the movement for social justice to provide African-Americans equal rights under the law, these rights apply to all individuals, no matter their race, religion, nationality, gender identity, ...

Did you know?

Between 1990-2006, employment discrimination accounted for about half of all civil rights filings in U.S. district courts.

What can a civil rights lawyer do?

What a Civil Rights lawyer can do for you. If someone has violated your civil rights by discriminating against you, it may be time to contact a civil rights attorney. Federal and state constitutions and discrimination laws define the extent of your civil rights. Law firms specializing in civil rights know how to protect the rights ...

Why are civil rights attorneys called discrimination lawyers?

In fact, civil rights attorneys are sometimes called discrimination attorneys because they frequently handle cases involving a person being treated differently based on gender, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Why do you need a civil rights attorney?

Why hire a Civil rights attorney. A civil rights attorney helps protect the personal rights granted to you by the government. When someone violates those rights, a civil rights attorney can help you make them stop these violations, or repay you for any damage they have done to you.

How many lawyers are in a small law firm?

A small law firm, which is also sometimes called a boutique law firm, can have anywhere from 2 to 10 lawyers. A small law firm can often give the feel of a solo law firm, but has the benefit of your lawyer being able to collaborate with his or her coworkers when there is a complicated legal matter. Multiple lawyers can also mean ...

What to look for in a lawyer?

A good lawyer will have a clear fee structure, which will allow you to figure out if you can afford the attorney's services and let you know what you'll be getting for your money. Another characteristic of a good attorney is good communication because it's important that the attorney keeps you up to date with information about your case. Finally, it's important to research the attorney before hiring him or her. You can often find online reviews from past clients, and you can check to see if the lawyer has ever had misconduct complaints against him or her.

What does "multiple lawyers" mean?

Multiple lawyers can also mean that they can help with a broader range of legal topics. Large law firms can range from several dozens of lawyers to several thousands of employees including lawyers, paralegals, and administrative staff. Large law firms can exist in multiple cities, states, and even countries.

What is a solo law firm?

A solo law firm is exactly what it sounds like – a law firm run by a single lawyer. Solo practitioners, as they are often called, generally handle a variety of topics but may also specialize in one particular area of law.

Is it important to hire a lawyer?

It's important to understand that a good lawyer doesn't guarantee that you'll win your case. However, having a good lawyer will give you have the best chances for a favorable outcome and the comfort of knowing that you had the best legal representation. The first step in hiring a lawyer is choosing one in the practice area that is related to your legal matter because this will ensure that the lawyer is well versed in cases similar to yours.

Is solo practice more expensive than larger firms?

Usually solo practitioners are less expensive than larger firms, and can provide more one-on-one personal attention. On the other hand, a solo firm might lack experience or resources, particularly if the attorney is a recently licensed attorney.

Why are civil rights lawyers important?

Civil rights lawyers say the work is meaningful, since it provides an avenue to remedy inequities, ensure fairness and restore justice. Azizi, for example, notes he often represents employees who have limited bargaining power in disputes with influential companies.

What is a positive sign for a school?

If a school's mission is consistent with the ideals of the civil rights movement and addresses the concerns of the movement, such as access to justice, that is a positive sign, says Crossman, who is the son of the civil rights leader and pastor Rev. Kenneth Crossman.

How long has the Civil Rights Act been in effect?

Fifty-five years have passed since the U.S. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that outlawed segregation and prohibited various types of discrimination.

What is civil rights law?

Law school hopefuls who are interested in civil rights law – a field that focuses on countering discrimination against people on the basis of their race, color, gender, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age or pregnancy – should look for a school with numerous courses on this subject, experts say.

Do law students get civil rights jobs?

Riggs says law students who complete externships with civil rights organizations and perform well are more likely to receive offers for civil rights law jobs.

Who is Bass Ehler?

Bass Ehler, a former chief of the Civil Rights Bureau for the Illinois Attorney General, suggests that a law school's nonclinical curriculum is also something that is important to assess. She says that every aspiring civil rights attorney should take a law school course on federal courts or federal jurisdictions, ...

Who is Allison Riggs?

Allison Riggs, senior voting rights attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a nonprofit organization in North Carolina, says the availability of an externship program that connects law students with for-credit work experiences is crucial. Because civil rights law is a field where jobs are highly sought after, students with an interest in this career path should attempt to work for a civil rights organization during law school, she suggests.

How much do civil rights lawyers make?

Civil rights attorney salaries vary depending on employer, location and experience. A civil rights attorney’s salary can range between $69,000 and $145,000. As with other law career specializations, nonprofit civil rights attorneys earn significantly less than those working in the private sector. The FBI has a civil rights division focusing its efforts on issues such as hate crimes, human trafficking, “color of law” abuses and freedom to access clinic entrances. The U.S. Department of Justice attorneys prosecute these cases. An entry-level attorney in this division earns a base pay of $50,287 per year, while more experienced attorneys in a large, urban setting earn $86,927 per year. Public interest jobs are particularly competitive.

How to become a civil rights lawyer?

In order to practice law as a civil rights attorney, one must have a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor Law degree. A serious student wanting a competitive edge will build a resume and transcript that reflects a commitment to civil rights issues. During law school, he should take courses specializing in constitutional law. In addition, it is advisable to follow courses in civil rights litigation, employment discrimination, race and the law, human rights law, disability, education and family law to name a few.

What are the laws that protect civil rights?

Federal statutes in the area of civil rights law include the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Equal Pay Act, among others. Other federal laws, supplemented by court decisions, prohibit discrimination in voting rights, housing, public education, and access to public facilities.

What are civil rights?

Civil rights encompass the basic human rights that all Americans are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Federal and state constitutional law, statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial interpretation have defined and expanded these civil rights over time.

What is the role of the Supreme Court?

The U.S. Supreme Court, along with its state counterparts, has played a critical role in helping to define civil rights law. The High Court has repeatedly ruled that civil rights imply a right to privacy, even though the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly grant this right.

Which amendments have equal protection clauses?

Equal Protection Clause - A clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits any state from denying any person the equal protection of the law. Protected Class - A group of people intended to be protected by a statute passed by the federal or state legislature.