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August 23, 2023

In California alone, there are nearly 200,000 licensed attorneys. But within this number are attorneys who specialize in a variety of different areas of the law, including criminal law, immigration law, and personal injury law, to name a few. Businesses, both large and small, can benefit from an employer lawyer.

An employer attorney specializes in employment law issues and represents business owners, employers, and HR departments in and out of the courtroom. To understand the advantages an employer lawyer can bring to your business, it helps to first have an idea of the roles and responsibilities you can expect them to fulfill.

The Roles of a California Employer Attorney

A qualified employer lawyer will serve several roles while representing you and your business. Despite the variety of roles, the goal of the employer lawyer remains primarily to protect your business from the consequences of negative legal actions.

To accomplish this goal, your employer lawyer will serve as your:


Every attorney advocates for their client, and your employer lawyer is no different. When your business hires an attorney for representation, the attorney will strive to protect and advance the interests of your company in their work.

Whether in court, at the negotiating table, or in discussions with vendors and suppliers, a reliable and effective employer attorney will aim to move your business and its operations forward.

When you are negotiating with a vendor, you can expect that your attorney will object to terms that are unfavorable to your company and clearly articulate what your company needs. In the courtroom, your attorney-advocate will be the one to tell your company’s side of the dispute through argument, evidence, and witness testimony.


Sometimes the best way to defeat a legal claim or to save money on courtroom expenses is to avoid litigation in the first place. Unfortunately, uninformed or poorly considered decisions can quickly land you in legal hot water. As a counselor, your employer attorney’s job is to be available for you to consult before a major decision.

In the counselor role, your attorney does not make decisions for you. Instead, a competent employment lawyer will help you fully understand the choices you face in any given situation and the potential ramifications of each course of action, so you can make an informed decision.

For example, if you plan to modify or update your company’s policy manual, your employer attorney will advise you on whether your proposed changes would run afoul of any federal or state laws and what other consequences they might bring. You would then be better positioned to know whether to implement or abandon these changes.

Legal Specialist and Resource

You should expect that your employer attorney will stay abreast of the latest developments in the ever-changing field of employment law.

Staying up-to-date on this expansive subject matter means monitoring the courts for new employment law decisions, new statutes and regulations that get passed by state and federal authorities, and evolving best practices for operating a business and managing employees.

Acquiring this knowledge and remaining current in this field means you can ask your employer attorney questions and receive an answer promptly rather than days or weeks later. This quick response time allows you to make important decisions more swiftly.


Some employment law disputes cannot be resolved through negotiations and settlements. These disputes must be resolved in the courtroom, and your employment law attorney will be ready to litigate those disputes.
As a litigator, your lawyer will advocate on your behalf in court and fight hard to secure the best possible outcome for your business.

What Your California Employer Lawyer Is Responsible For

It can be beneficial to understand not only which roles your lawyer fills, but also what your employment attorney is responsible for within those roles. Here are some of the tasks and duties your lawyer handles to protect your company’s interests:

Responsibilities as an Advocate

In their role as an advocate, your attorney will speak with you regularly about the general goals you have for your business. They will also review your objectives in responding to existing or threatened litigation. Without understanding what your position is, they cannot effectively advance those interests through their work.

Your attorney will also need to appear for you in any situations where your business’s interests are at stake, which includes in the courtroom or boardroom, during negotiations with other businesses and individuals, and any other areas where your business’s objectives might be threatened.

Responsibilities as a Counselor

One of the chief responsibilities of your employer attorney as a counselor is to provide informed, honest, and objective advice about issues facing your business. Your attorney will carefully consider questions or situations you ask them about and devote time and energy to thinking about the potential ramifications of your proposed course of conduct.

Your attorney is also responsible for ensuring you understand any guidance they provide and to answer any questions you may have.

Responsibilities as a Legal Resource

Your employment law attorney cannot be an effective and useful resource for you if they do not study the law and developments in their field. Therefore, your lawyer has a responsibility to watch for and read relevant cases that are decided by the courts.

Your attorney will also monitor legislative initiatives in the State Assembly that could impact your business’s operations and relationship with employees.

Responsibilities as a Litigator

When a matter goes to court, your employer lawyer will handle keeping track of any important dates, deadlines, and statutes. Your lawyer will also take care of investigating the matter in question and collecting and presenting relevant evidence to advocate for your position.

Developing a comprehensive, effective strategy to defend your interests and protect your rights will fall to your lawyer as well.

Finding the Best Employer Attorney for Your Business

When searching for an employer attorney to represent you and your business, it helps to start with ensuring that the lawyer you are considering is able to fulfill these roles and responsibilities.

An attorney or firm that does not specialize in employment law may not fully understand or appreciate the unique position that employment law attorneys find themselves in. The right employer attorney by your side is a vital asset that can enable you and your business to take bold action and grow confidently.


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