In last year's profile of the most powerful employment-law attorneys, those selected for the honor were asked to provide tips to HR leaders looking to retain a lawyer. Here is a synopsis of their suggestions:
* Look for someone who will take over the problem -- making the company's problem his/her problem.
* Seek out skill in the particular type of litigation that is being waged.
* Being a department head and having more than 10 years of experience often indicates expertise.
* Find the right fit. Look for an attorney that meets the company's expectations and objectives. Is his/her suggested approach the one the company wants?
* Find an attorney who understands the company and its business goals -- and how the litigation fits in and potentially impacts the organization, such as its recruiting efforts.
* Make sure the lawyer doesn't view the company's case as a cash cow -- running up large fees before concluding it might be best to settle the case. Press the attorney on the costs and the odds of winning the at various stages of the litigation process.
* Do due diligence. Ask about the lawyers' competence, services and fees. Call former or current clients for references.
* Make sure the attorney knows how to use technology and the information that is available through databases.
* Look for membership in attorney organizations that are elite, such as the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.