How do I choose an immigration lawyer?
Choosing an immigration lawyer can be daunting. Immigration is a complicated process and it can affect your entire life. There are many immigration attorneys out there. How can you choose which one to entrust with your case in this life-changing process?
How do I find the best immigration attorneys?
The best immigration lawyers will likely be those who are proactive, knowledgeable, and sympathetic to your situation. Your immigration attorney will make it a point will consult with you in person to understand your overall situation. Beware of immigration law firms who have paralegals or non-attorneys providing the initial consultation. Not only that is against the law because only attorneys can give you legal advice, but it may jeopardize your entire future in the United States. The immigration process requires time, diligence, and tireless attention to detail. The immigration process is a collaborative process that involves constant cooperation and communication between you and your immigration attorneys’ team. So before you hire an immigration attorney, learn what separates a good immigration lawyer from a great one – do your research before your first consultation.
What criteria have to be met in order to choose an immigration lawyer?
- Specializes exclusively in immigration law and has broad immigration law experience. Immigration law is very complex and is extraordinarily detail-intensive. An immigration attorney who claims to have immigration law experience but also represents clients in criminal law or corporate law is not likely to have the same expertise as one who practices immigration law exclusively. Often, attorneys who practice immigration as well as other fields such as corporate or family law, do not have a great understanding of immigration law as a whole. More often than not, they have some understanding of simple petitions and may handle standard cases, but they tend not to have broad immigration law experience or expertise for more complicated cases. Even if you think your case is simple, you probably want to have the best representation possible to improve your chances of getting your case approved.
- The immigration attorney practices with others in a multi-lawyer firm. When you hire an immigration lawyer, you are not hiring just one person to handle your case, you are hiring a team of legal professionals. The advantage of hiring an attorney from a multi-lawyer practice is that your attorney will have an immediate pool of additional resources to serve you. No one can be an expert in everything – having a team of talented and experienced immigration lawyers working closely together will inspire and allow your attorney to tackle a myriad of different immigration issues. You can also continue to receive communication from the legal team in case your lawyer is out of the office, such as attending an immigration appointment with other clients, appearing in immigration court, or out on vacation.
- Is well-known and well-respected in the community. Immigration law is a very specialized field and reputation is everything. Before hiring an immigration lawyer, do your research to find out if your lawyer is a respected member of the professional community. Check your immigration attorney’s credentials to ascertain whether he or she is authorized to practice law (i.e. has passed the Bar and remains in good standing), and research his or her track record. Your local state bar website will disclose if your attorney has any complaints or violations that have been filed against them. But, that’s not enough because it doesn’t mean the attorney is a good one, it just means that he or she is not a really bad one. The American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA), is another good resource. This is the official professional organization for immigration lawyers and can provide you with recommendations on immigration lawyers in your area. However, membership in AILA does not guarantee a lawyer’s experience or success record. For that, you will have to look into client reviews, such as Google reviews on such authority websites as Avvo, an online lawyer directory featuring client testimonials. Very few client reviews can be telling but many positive client reviews (over 100) from trusted sources like Google reviews that require an account to submit them are great resources. Examining client testimonials from third-party websites such as Google can be a tremendous help in your research.
What to expect from your immigration attorney?
Even before you step into the office, notice how the staff is taking your call. Are they friendly and sound like they want to help you? Are they rude or apathetic? When you attend your first consultation, pay attention to your attorney’s demeanor with you and with the rest of the staff. Your attorney should be familiar with the law and able to answer your questions and concerns directly. The consultation should start soon after you complete any necessary paperwork. Ideally, the firm should feel inviting and professional. Company culture and relations among staff members are crucial factors in establishing a positive atmosphere. It has been proven time and again that the best immigration law firms have immigration professionals who can work together as a team. In our experience, a friendly work environment and a true emphasis on teamwork add tremendous value for our clients.
After you make the decision to retain an attorney for your immigration matter, your immigration lawyer should be available to answer your questions and explain each step of the process to you. Often, immigration law firms rely on immigration paralegals to help manage their cases. Even so, your immigration attorney is the one ultimately responsible for your case and accountable to you every step of the way. At Weinstock Immigration Lawyers, we have painstakingly instituted the best practices to ensure that our clients receive the attention and results their cases deserve. Take a moment to review our immigration attorneys who have been voted by clients and peers to be one of the best immigration lawyers. Our firm as a whole has been voted by our clients and peers to be one of the best immigration law firms in Atlanta, Georgia. We are more than happy to discuss our track record along with your immigration needs. If you are ready to start proceeding with your case, give us a call today.