Inequality and oppression in society are still significant problems today. It is necessary to identify their roots to address them properly. Civil rights attorneys are legal professionals that listen in to communities and help them find the right solutions for their needs.
What is a Civil Rights Lawyer?
A civil rights lawyer is an attorney who works with cases that have to do with a violation of your civil rights on a federal or state level.
What Does a Civil Rights Attorney Do?
A civil rights attorney does a lot of different things, depending on the situation. One of the most common cases that a civil rights attorney can help with has to do with employment discrimination. If an employer denies you a promotion because of your religion or your age, you should consult with an attorney. Another common area where a civil rights attorney can help you is when a landlord discriminates against you because of something like national origin or sexual identity. As a tenant, you might face discrimination if you get an eviction notice for no legal reason or if a landlord charges you more than they do other tenants. Sexual harassment is another area where civil rights lawyers commonly handle cases.
In any of these situations, a civil rights attorney near you will help you get compensation where necessary or bring about changes such as forcing a business to provide better facilities to accommodate the disabled.
When to Hire a Civil Rights Lawyer?
You should hire Civil Rights attorneys near you when your civil rights have been violated. Your civil rights are laid out in the first 10 amendments of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Some examples of situations when you should hire civil rights attorneys near you include:
Where Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is violated. This prohibits discrimination in the workplace, discrimination in terms of access to education, boating, or housing based on a number of factors such as sexual orientation, disability, age, sex, religion, race, and more.
Where the Age Discrimination Act is violated. The Age Discrimination Act prohibits people from discriminating against workers who are 40 years or older. If you are in the workplace and discriminated against because of your age, you might need a civil rights lawyer.
Where the Americans with Disabilities Act is violated. Federal law prohibits people from discriminating against people who have disabilities in transportation, employment, Telecommunications, public accommodations, and commercial facilities. So, if you are unable to access something like a disabled restroom in a hotel, you might need a discrimination lawyer to help you.
Where the Fair Housing Act is violated. Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in terms of housing based on things like family status, gender, age, or race. If you are trying to purchase a home and the realtor or lender tells you that because of your gender or your race, they will not let you live in this area, consider hiring a civil rights lawyer.
Where the Voting Rights Act is violated. There should be no barriers to discourage minorities from voting in any election and if you are a minority that has faced barriers in terms of voting, you might consider hiring a civil rights attorney.
How Do I Choose a Civil Rights Attorney?
When looking for the best Civil Rights lawyer near you, you want to make your choice based on a few things:
When you need legal help, different cases might require different levels of experience. The process for a lawsuit filed in District Courts might vary from an equal rights court case at a federal court. Experts at different law firms should be experienced enough to create a defense should you need it, to know the laws based on your local and state government, and to understand the process for getting justice. That’s why it’s important to pick an attorney that has worked on cases similar to yours. This might need an attorney that has experience with local courts versus federal courts or an attorney that focuses on employment discrimination rather than sexual harassment.
Clients should be given good communication throughout the entire process. Every person who hires an attorney needs to be kept up-to-date about the situation. When you find a good attorney, they should lay out exactly what level of communication they provide and how often you should expect updates regarding your case.
You also want to find a person who charges acceptable fees. Now this could be an hourly fee, a contingency fee, or pro bono. An hourly fee is based on how many hours of work are put into your case. A contingency fee is a percentage of the total settlement should you win. A pro bono case is where you don’t get charged any legal fee.
How to Find a Lawyer for Civil Rights?
Civil Rights law lawyers near you can be found through multiple resources:
If you need pro bono criminal defense or lawyers, you can use the American Civil Liberties Union database of lawyers who provide pro bono work for civil rights issues.
If you have a legal issue that might require litigation Because of misconduct in the workplace, emotional abuse,medical malpractice or personal injury, you can always use the American Bar Association to find a reputable attorney. They maintain a database of attorneys, and you can search for them based on your area and what type of help you need.
How Much Does the Civil Rights Lawyer Average Cost?
If you hire a lawyer for Civil Rights near you, the average cost will vary based on the case.
Most civil rights lawyers will charge by the hour, and this will range between $200 and $500 per hour, depending on where you live. For example, if you live in California, in a major city like San Francisco, the average hourly cost for a civil rights lawyer is $400 per hour. There are some situations where your case is so significant that it has to go beyond your local Court, in which case you might pay a senior partner at a major law firm up to $800 per hour or more.
Do Civil Rights Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations?
Civil rights attorneys do not generally charge for a consultation, but this might vary depending on where you live.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get pro bono legal advice?
In many cases, yes, you can get pro bono legal advice. Most civil rights attorneys work for the common good, so as legal professionals, they will set aside a specific amount of time every year to help with civil rights violations for free.
What evidence do I need?
When you consult with an attorney, their job is to protect citizens like yourself, so they will help you determine what type of evidence you need for your case. Hard evidence will be what helps you win a civil rights case, and this might include landlord tenant lease agreements, employment records, company guidelines that prevent sexual harassment. If you have that hard evidence and you collect data that prove parts of that agreement or guidelines were violated, you have a higher chance of a successful case.
How much can I get compensated?
Any compensation you get is based entirely on your situation. It's best to consult with an attorney to go over what potential outcomes your case might have.