You Think You Need a Lawyer?

If you think you need a lawyer, you probably do. Finding and choosing a lawyer for employment rights issues, however, can be a difficult and frustrating process. Most lawyers do not handle employment law cases. Most of the lawyers that handle employment law cases represent only employers, not employees. We have done our best to make your job easier. 

When faced with a legal issue it is important that you act quickly. Often there are time limits within which you need to act in order to preserve your legal rights. Since finding a lawyer can sometimes be time consuming, it is best to start right away.

Step One: Find a Lawyer who Represents Employees

Step one is to find lawyers who represent employees. Congratulations on completing your step! We represent employees and have identified some other lawyers represent employees. We have also put together links to lawyer referral websites specific to employment lawyers as well as general lawyer referral websites to assist in your search.

The lawyers specifically identified by us are lawyers that we know. We believe that they are qualified to represent employees in a variety of employment law matters. Most of these lawyers are members of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), a professional association of lawyers who represent employees, or the Tennessee Employment Lawyers Association (TENNELA), the Tennessee state affiliate of NELA.  NELA and the state affiliate in your state are great resources for finding a lawyer who helps employees. 

These lawyers and websites are identified as a courtesy to people who visit We are not guaranteeing or otherwise making representations about the quality of the legal services or the accuracy of any information regarding these links. You should use your own, independent judgment in selecting a lawyer.

Step Two: Contact Some Lawyers who Represent Employees

Step Two is a bit more difficult. You actually need to pick up the phone and call, or email, some of the lawyers identified in step one. We welcome you to contact us for a confidential consultation.   

Before contacting a lawyer, you should take some time to organize your thoughts. This helps you present your concerns in an efficient and easy to follow way. You should know the dates (or approximate dates) of important events.  You should have the names and positions of the people involved, including potential witnesses. Contact information for these people is also helpful.

Some lawyers offer free consultations. Others charge a consultation fee. Any fees should be discussed before you decide if you want the consultation. 

Step Three: Find Your Best Legal Match

Step Three is the most difficult. Qualified lawyers who represent employees are in high demand. The lawyer of your choice may be unavailable (or in some cases unwilling) to handle your case. Do not give up just because some lawyers cannot help you.

Select the lawyer that you feel is right for your case. Lawyer client relationships are very personal. While your lawyer does not need to be your best friend, you should feel comfortable dealing with your lawyer. Like all relationships no two are the same. The right lawyer for your friend or neighbor may not be the right lawyer for you.

You should do your homework. Simply asking a lawyer about their experience handling cases like yours can help you make an informed decision.  Do some research on the internet. Talk to people (other lawyers, clients, witnesses) who have dealt with the lawyer. Read articles or publications by the lawyer. In the end, trust your instincts. 

Lawyers We Recommend for Employment Law Matters 
(in alphabetical order):

William Bush
Attorney at law
718 N. Washington Ave.
Cookeville, TN  38501
(931) 520-4758 (voice and fax)
Mr. Bush has a particular interest in
Family Medical Leave Act related claims.

Donna Clary
Sobieski, Messer & Associates, PLLC
P.O. Box 2310
Knoxville, TN 37901-2310
(865) 546-7770
(865) 546-7969 (Fax)
Practice areas include Family Law, Employment
Law and Civil Rights

David L. Cooper, Esq..
The Law Office of David L. Cooper, P. C.
208 Third Avenue, North
Suite 300
Nashville, TN  37201
Phone:  (615)  256-1008
Fax:  (615)  256-3330

Wade Cowan
150 Second Avenue N.
Suite 225
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone:(615) 256-8130

Cindy Gardner 
Disability Law & Advocacy Center
All issues related to discrimination on the
basis of disability, including employment

Justin S. Gilbert
Gilbert & Russell, PLC
2021 Greystone Dr.
Jackson, TN 38305
731-664-1340 (telephone)
731-664-1540 (telefax)

Douglas B. Janney III
Attorney at Law
2002 Richard Jones Road
Suite B-200
Nashville, Tennessee 37215
Telephone (615) 742-5900
Facsimile (615) 742-5958


NELA (National Employment Lawyers Association)

To be a member of NELA at least fifty percent of an attorney’s
employment law related practice must be devoted to representing employees.

NELA Lawyer Locator
NELA Affiliates – Certain states have organizations of employment law attorneys that are affiliated with NELA.  Select the NELA Affiliate for your state for a list of member attorneys.

California Employment Lawyers Association

Florida Nela

NELA – Hawaii

Indiana Employment Lawyers Association



Massachusetts Employment Lawyer Association

Minnesota NELA

NY Affiliate

Ohio Employment Lawyers Association

Oklahoma Employment Lawyers Association

Texas Employment Lawyers Association

Washington Employment Lawyers Association


Employment Law Specific Lawyer Referral Services

MEL “My Employment Lawyer” offers information on employment law for employees and provides a list of employment law attorneys throughout the country. Search MEL lawyers.


General Lawyer Referral Services

American Bar Association’s Directory of Lawyer Referral Services

Legal Aid Society.  The toll free number for Legal Aid Society is 1-800-238-1443.

Yezbak Law Offices • Nashville, Tennessee 37215 • 615-250-2000 • 877-250-3906