I just heard a caller who worked with a nasty bully for 25 years and HR has not taken care of the problem. I hope to God she follows your advice--the reasons you gave her for getting an attorney immediately and to NOT talk to anyone about anything without the attorney because they will probably hurt HER and/or fire HER, were spot on.
You could have been describing my exact situation. I didn't get an attorney and never in a million years thought I needed to because I believed them when they told me they were doing everything possible to fix the situation--all the while they were trying to cover themselves. They ended up lying to the company they contracted with (I worked at the company onsite, they were in another state) in order to get their approval to fire us both.
Thankfully, I was well liked and a hard worker, who had many, many contacts and friends who stood up for me and went to upper management. I gave my consent for them to reactivate my email account and read all my correspondence with my offsite managers so that I could prove I wasn't the problem.
The company has created a position for me as an employee of theirs (not the contracted company that fired me) and I am now in the hiring process. Meanwhile, they have put me to work as an independent contractor, temporarily until the process is complete.
I can't stress enough, how RIGHT you are in advising people that HR is NOT there for you the employee, they are there to cover the company, whether the company is right or wrong. Live and learn!