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ARTICLES:

What are Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyers
and how to find them

I concentrate my practice in employment law, and I refer to myself as an “employment lawyer.” What that means is that the bulk of my legal practice involves representing parties who have a problem arising from or relating to the employer-employee relationship. That’s what I focus on. But neither the Missouri Bar nor the Missouri Supreme Court recognizes or offers a formal specialty in employment law. No formal certification or special training is required to call yourself an “employment lawyer”.

I am a member of the National and Local chapters of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), made up of plaintiff’s employment lawyers, but I do not hold an official Missouri designation as an employment lawyer, because there is no such designation available.

For background information on the evolution of the “Employment Law” area of practice, see: Labor Law, where I talk about the difference between traditional “labor law” and the new “employment law”. See also The “at-will” employment doctrine where I talk a little about the evolution of legal actions against employers by employees.

Any lawyer can take on an employment case, but you should consider, seriously, using a lawyer who concentrates in employment law

It’s not required that you present your problem to a lawyer who concentrates in employment law. Lawyers in Missouri are licensed to handle any type of case for which they deem themselves competent. Any licensed Missouri attorney could handle your case. The problem that employees face is that most lawyers seem reluctant to touch an employment case, particularly discrimination and wrongful termination cases. Contract cases are more likely to be acceptable to lawyers who do not otherwise do employment law.

Why there are so few Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyers

Only a relative handful of lawyers concentrate in employment law. There are good reasons for this.

  • Employment cases do not commonly generate damage awards comparable with personal injury cases.
  • Most potential clients are unemployed and money is tight, so they can’t pay fees.
  • The law favors the employer in discrimination and wrongful termination cases, so those types of cases are statistically much more likely to be losers in court (if they don’t settle) than are many other types of cases.
  • Last, and probably least, employment law is often said to be more complex than most other types of law in general, and it’s full of short deadlines that cause trouble for cases. But if the cases were more lucrative and had a better chance of success, then I bet more lawyers would learn the complexities and be willing to do employment cases.

How to find a Missouri Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyer,
especially from St. Louis and Kansas City

St. Louis Missouri Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyers websites – See my special page focusing mostly on St. Louis Plaintiff Employment Lawyer websites, at Links to Employment Lawyers’ websites.

Kansas City Missouri Plaintiff Employment Lawyers: For more info on finding employment lawyers in the Kansas City Missouri area, see the tips I list in my Kansas City Employment Law Inquiries article.

Anywhere you are, look in your Local Yellow Pages “Attorney Guide” subsection – Many people seem to find employment lawyers through the Yellow Pages. In large communities like St. Louis and Kansas City, you could look in the ATT Yellow Pages at the back of the Attorney section, where lawyers advertise by their area of practice (the “Attorney Guide” section). You’ll find lawyers under the Employment and Employment-Discrimination sections.

Smartpages.com, the on-line Yellow Pages.

St. Louis Lawyer Referral Service of the St. Louis Metropolitan Bar Association at 314-621-6681.

For everywhere in Missouri, except St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, contact the Missouri Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service – For all of Missouri except St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield. You can call the Missouri Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 573-636-3635 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays).

Missouri Bar Association Online Lawyer Search by practice area and location. Click the link, then select your county and the type of law you want. For Employment Law, select “Labor and Employment Law”. [ As an aside, read this short article if you want to know why the Bar uses the ancient term “Labor and Employment Law” rather than plain old “Employment Law”] Maybe someone in your area will be identified to you. Not all lawyers are accessible via the Bar’s search engine. Most lawyers don’t even know that the Bar runs an on-line search feature, and so the lawyers have not yet asked the Bar to be listed. The Bar only lists lawyers who have requested a listing.

Finding plaintiffs employment lawyers in other states – Individual lawyers on the web, or homepages on the web: See my page regarding Links to Employment Lawyers’ websites.

Other websites that list plaintiff employment lawyers

A lawyer in Chicago, Ronald Schwartz, has links to many employment lawyers’ websites sorted by state, at WorkPlaceLawyer.com.

There are a few popular websites that provide fairly long lists of employment-related lawyers.

National Employment Lawyers Association – NELA.org. All the lawyers listed on NELA are members of NELA who pay an extra fee to be listed on the web. Each member must do at least 50% of their employment practice on behalf of employees.

Findlaw.com. The Findlaw employment law directory is not well organized and tells you nothing about the names it lists, unless the firms have paid for an advertising-related extended listing. Other than for firms that paid the fee, Findlaw presents you with a raw unedited listing of a vast number of lawyers it thinks are employment-law-related in St. Louis, so you don’t know if you are seeing the name of a plaintiff’s law firm or an exclusively management law firm, and you don’t know if those listed do a lot of employment law or only a smattering on rare occasions. Findlaw seems to pull its list of names from the West Legal Directory, where anyone can list “employment law” as something they do or have done in the past, and a lot of lawyers have dabbled in employment law over their careers. Similar criticisms seem to me to apply to Lawyers.com, which is run by the Martindale-Hubble legal directory people.

Other than NELA, there are not really any sources that have a good long list of lawyers focused on who currently practices “employment law” on behalf of employees. The great majority of websites seem to charge a fee to be listed, so you only get the names of fee-paying lawyers.


***** END OF ARTICLE *****

Timslaw.com Missouri Employment Law

Maintained by Attorney Phil Willoughby
Founded by Tim Willoughby, Esq. (1959-2013)

Phil is a Missouri employment lawyer who is licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri, and primarily takes cases in Saint Louis and Kansas City. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association. Additionally, he has practiced in the United States Federal Courts of Missouri in St. Louis and Kansas City. He has also practiced in the Kansas Federal District Court in Kansas City, Kansas.

Missouri Bar Website (To view the directory of lawyers).

Phil Willoughby, Attorney
Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

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