Joel Dillard & Associates

Representing Working People

What about the attorney fees? There are three types of services we provide, each of which has different fee structures:

  1. Limited representation
  2. Labor Union representation
  3. Wrongful termination litigation
  1. Limited representation

  2. For ongoing employment problems, we can provide affordable, professional, confidential advice for the price of a week or two of groceries. For example, if you are being sexually harassed, facing escalating discipline, need a contract reviewed, or are considering blowing the whistle on something going on at work, we can give you a personalized legal analysis and advise you how best to accomplish your objectives.

    We also offer reasonable options for limited representation. For example, if you need help negotiating confidentiality clauses, non-compete agreements, severance packages, or releases, we can help you for about the price of a new suit.

    Slightly more complex matters - such as disciplinary hearings for teachers, federal employees, and state government employees - will cost in the range of a new riding lawnmower. The amount will vary depending on the complexity of the matter and the scope of the representation.

  3. Labor Union representation: free (or close to it)

  4. Are you are trying to start a union? Call us, and don't worry about any fee. This is the firm's pro bono passion.

    The firm also represents established labor unions and their members. Whether providing support in organization drives, filing unfair labor practice charges, negotiating contracts, defending the union, or as a service provider to membership, union representation is the most rewarding kind of work we do - and provided at the steepest discount. No union is too small, too new, or too broke to be represented by the firm. In fact, small union clients sometimes find that, between pro bono work, fee deferrals, and offsets, they wind up paying nothing whatsoever for representation.

  5. Wrongful termination

  6. For complex litigation like wrongful termination, most clients use a pay-if-you-win, fee-shifting structure. With pay-if-you-win (also called contingency) matters, the fees are paid at the end of the case if we collect money for you. Fee shifting means a portion of that fee is the hourly lodestar awarded by a court. Because contingency fees both delay payment and pose a risk to the firm, they are always higher than the standard hourly rate would be. Hourly matters, however, must be paid by the client as we go. The firm also takes some cases for the public good without expectation of payment (pro bono publico). The firm must keep a good balance of these various options in order to succeed, and the appropriate fee structure for your particular case will depend on a host of factors.

    Costs are another matter. We expect clients in almost every case to pay the out-of-pocket costs as we go, and to provide a security deposit before we begin representation. Credit card payments are accepted, and payment plans can be discussed. However, if a client is truly unable to pay and completes some financial paperwork, we can go forward without requiring the client to pay costs.


This site is for general information only, and creates no attorney-client relationship. Sending inquiries to the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship. By calling or emailing the firm, you are consenting to receive return calls, emails, mailings and text messages from the firm.

To get legal advice about an employment law, labor law, federal employee law, whistleblower protection, labor unions, worker cooperatives, immigration, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, severance, or any related question, you must first have a conflicts check by the firm. We represent exclusively workers, worker cooperatives and unions, but we still must check for potential conflicts of interest, for example, between a supervisor and employee.

First provide the firm with your name, and the name of the person you are making claims against. This allows the firm to check for such conflicts of interest. Until you receive confirmation that there is NO CONFLICT, none of the information you provide will be considered confidential. Do NOT provide any confidential information before we have asked you to do so.

Once we have confirmed there is no conflict, you may discuss your matter with staff in a little more detail, and, if requested, make an appointment. If at your appointment the firm accepts you as a client in writing, then the attorney will be able to provide you with employment law advice.