Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
People can find civil rights attorneys by contacting non-profit organizations that specialize in the type of discrimination that has occurred. For example, African Americans who believe their civil rights have been violated can contact the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for a referral. It is also important when searching for a civil rights attorney to objectively assess the strength of one's civil rights case and weigh the options for how the civil rights attorneys will be paid.
In the United States, civil rights laws are designed to protect minorities under the 13th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. United States citizens cannot be discriminated against because of their religion, their sex, their age, or their race. In addition, it is not legal to discriminate against people who are handicapped.
If an individual believes that an action by an organization has violated his civil rights, the individual should contact an appropriate non-profit such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), or the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for advice and referrals. These organizations help protect and extend the rights of their constituents. The organizations may be able to refer the individual to civil rights attorneys who have experience in both the law and the jurisdiction, or location, where the violation may have occurred.
One should consider the way that the civil rights attorney will be paid. The most preferable method would be to find an attorney who will work pro bono, or free. Civil rights attorneys are more likely to work on a pro bono basis if the case will bring the attorneys and the law firms for which they work national publicity. This makes the case highly visible, controversial, and uncomfortable for the individual or individuals who have violated someone's civil rights. cases.
If one cannot find a pro bono attorney, look for a lawyer who will be paid on a contingency basis, which means the attorney will take a certain percentage of the damages from a successful case. Civil rights attorneys who take a case on a contingency basis generally do so because they believe they have a good chance of winning. These lawyers are willing to risk losing the case and not getting any reimbursement for the time that they have spent in preparation and litigation.
The least preferable way would be to hire a civil rights attorney on a fee basis, in which the attorneys are paid by the hour regardless of the the outcome of the case. This means that the attorneys may not be confident that the client will win his case. All attorneys involved have to be paid regardless of how the courts rule on the case.
@Terrificli -- I think you meant "simple" instead of "simply" (I am not a grammar Nazi, honest!), but I get the point.
There are times when just looking at an attorney's success rate doesn't let you know if you have found a good civil rights lawyer or not. That is because civil rights laws violations are often hard to prove. A good civil rights attorney, then, may not have a great record, but have a look at the cases he or she did win and how much money the clients received.
If you see a lot of cases in which big damages amounts were common, then you may have found the civil rights lawyer you want and need. Remember, that in baseball there is something to be said for those batters that strike out a lot but hit a huge number of home runs. The same logic applies to picking a civil rights lawyer.
It is a lot easier to find a good civil rights attorney than you might think. The good ones are not shy about marketing themselves as civil rights attorneys.
But, you do have to be careful because the bad ones that want to claim they have civil rights experience like to market, too. Luckily, it is pretty easy to research cases on the Internet these days, so you can figure out the "batting average" for various civil rights attorneys by looking at the cases they have tried.
If you have one with a good winning percentage, then you have found a good civil rights lawyer. Simply, huh?
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!