Below are some of the things you need to consider if you are looking for an immigration lawyer. You will learn what you can do to make sure you choose the right immigration attorney to help you with the case. You are going to learn how to use the internet when searching, avoiding scams, and the questions to ask during the initial consultation.
- Talking to Your Friends and Family
Your friends and family are a priceless resource when looking to hire an immigration attorney. The first step is to discuss your needs with people who care and know you the best. They can help you, especially if they have had immigration issues in the past. Maybe they worked with a great attorney who can also help you with your legal problem. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways of discovering a great attorney because you are getting the recommendation from someone who has worked with them before and liked their services. Write down the information you get about the immigration attorneys, whether positive or negative. You might need the information later.
- Using the Internet
The internet is one of the best tools when searching for an experienced immigration attorney. Use the major search engines Google and Yahoo to see if there are any immigration attorneys in your area. Note down the names of the attorneys you think are going to be a good fit. Don’t worry about having too many names because you can narrow down your list later with more research. Check out the American Immigration Lawyers Association because they have a virtual database to help you find an attorney. They have a website that you visit.
As much as the Internet is a great tool for finding an immigration attorney, there are risks. The last thing you want is to get scammed because you decide to pay over the internet. You should stay away from people claiming to be a “notario” “green cards” or a “visa consultant” because they are not qualified lawyers. This means they are not in a position to provide legal guidance, assistance, or representation. The only people qualified to help you are lawyers registered and certified by the state’s bar association.
- Finding The Right Immigration Attorney on the Internet
- Using search engines to find immigration lawyers and law firms in your area
- Visiting AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) and using immigration lawyer finder
- Learning more about law firms and lawyers on sites like Google and Yelp reviews because you can use what past clients say about their services.
- Checking out law firms on their social media accounts including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Being aware of scams on the internet such as “notarios”
- Noting down the information you find online then creating a list of potential immigration lawyers.
- Essential Qualifications
There are many uncertified individuals claiming to protect the rights of foreign-born residents. Some of them are not certified or qualified to handle anything to do with immigration law. They can’t represent clients because they cannot do it in a court of law. They usually operate as Immigration Counselors, Advisors, Notaries, Specialist, and other titles suggesting expertise. Don’t hire them because they are going to take your money without offering any service.
Your case should be handled by a qualified immigration attorney (make sure they are registered with the state’s bar association). If an immigration lawyer has additional certifications and specialization, it means they have studied and worked in that field for long and have perfected their craft. This increases your chances of success because they are skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable. Make sure you find out how long the attorney has been working in the immigration field and see if they have additional specialization.
- Before hiring, find the proof of their credentials;
- Certification by the State’s bar association: the first place to start is the local bar association. Get the list of lawyers. They keep track of violations, complaints, and disciplinary action. There are some states like Texas where the bar association can help you locate a lawyer for your specific case.
- Specialization in immigration law: law firms and lawyers usually practice in many legal categories. You should look for law firms and lawyers focusing on immigration issues only because they stay on top of immigration law issues. Working exclusively in the immigration arena means they have worked with many enforcement officers and immigration judges in the past.
An Immigration Lawyer who has been recognized the statewide law organizations: There are many statewide law organizations who recognize lawyers who have been great in their fields. Working with such a lawyer is a good idea because the recognition affirms their credibility.
While you have to pay more for a qualified attorney, it is going to be worth it.
- Language Services
If you are not good at speaking English, then it is important to choose an attorney with who you can easily communicate. When you have a lawyer who understands you, you’ll have an easier time because you are on the same page and it keeps the procedure structured. If the attorney doesn’t speak your language and doesn’t have a paralegal to do it for them, it becomes hard for them to know and understand your needs, goals, and hopes. This leads to miscommunications and errors that affect your case. Most law firms and lawyer will list their language skills and specialization. This is going to narrow down your list. The legal representatives are also going to make sure that the files have been translated from English to a language you can understand.
Immigration lawyers are usually busy because they have to spend their time in client meetings, court dates, and consultations. While they are busy and always have something to work on, it is also important to feel confident that you can reach them in case of an urgent issue. If you have a hard time reaching the law firm for the first time, then take note because it might be the same case once you hire them. You want an attorney who you can reach easily. There are times when a serious problem comes up and you need help. Some of such instances include detainment or arrest.
It is also important to consider their physical location. You have to visit the office many times during the case. It should be convenient to visit the office. You should think about the location of the office because it will determine your experience during the case.