Archive for the ‘Immigration Attorney’ Category

What To Check For When Choosing An Immigration Attorney

Immigration matters can be extremely frustrating, especially combined with confusing legal jargon and ever changing laws and policies.  Before you let your overwhelming feelings get the better of you, take into consideration the retaining of an immigration attorney to help you effectively navigate your legal situation.  Initially you may not know where to start your search for legal counsel, but a few steps can help you find the perfect fit for you and your situation.

Client References

Ask family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances if they know any, or have worked with any, immigration lawyers.  Usually people are quick to name someone with whom they have had a positive experience.  Make sure the relationship with the attorney is a business one.  A lot of people know attorneys personally, but that type of relationship is not necessarily an accurate reflection of how well that lawyer performs on the job.

Check Specialties

Many practicing lawyers specialize in specific types of law practice while others often list a number of areas of specialty.  Choose an immigration attorney whose focus is on immigration law rather than a “jack of all trades.”  It is often more beneficial to find someone whose resources are spent in a specific area than someone who tries to be an expert in many areas.  Immigration law includes a number of sub-specialties, as well.  Look for someone with a strong background in your particular type of case.  He or she will most certainly be up to speed on the most recent changes to the laws pertaining to your case.

Check Credentials

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, check each lawyer’s credentials.  Any type of disciplinary action must be reported, and you can find this type of information on your state’s bar website or database.  It can also tell you if the attorney is licensed and in good standing. For a lawyer who specializes in immigration, you can, and should, utilize the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  The AILA is a national association of attorneys and lawyers who teach and practice immigration laws.  Members of the AILA are usually very well informed with regard to the rapidly changing news and information regarding immigration law.

Fees And Rates

Most immigration attorneys offer flat rates for their clients, although some extenuating circumstances may require the adoption of hourly or contingency billing.  Investigate the billing methodologies of the attorney you are considering, and make sure they fall within market parameters.  Price is not an accurate indicator for skill level.

Finding the right immigration attorney is only as effective as the footwork you put into the search.  There are a number of resources and ways to find someone reputable and knowledgeable who are willing to work hard and go to bat for you.