The best immigration attorney would be those who are sympathetic, knowledgeable, and proactive about your case. A good immigration attorney would always want to speak with you in person to know your situation. You shouldn’t use law firms that provide non-attorneys or paralegals during the first consultation.
It is against the law because only attorneys can provide legal advice, which might negatively affect your immigration to the United States. The immigration process needs diligence, time, and detailed attention. The immigration process is a collaboration involving constant communication and cooperation between you and your attorney.
So, you must learn how to find the best immigration attorneys before you begin your immigration journey. Let’s begin.
1. Focus on their specialization
Immigration law is pretty complex and incredibly detailed-intensive. An immigration lawyer claiming years of experience but representing corporate law clients might not have similar expertise to a lawyer who has solely practiced immigration law. Most times, lawyers who practice immigration law and other fields like criminal law or family law would not have an in-depth understanding of immigration law.
Generally, they can handle standard cases and understand simple petitions. But they won’t have a broad experience in immigration law or even the required expertise for complicated cases. Even if your case is simple, you should have the best person representing you to improve your chance of success.
2. Consider the amount of experience
When choosing an immigration lawyer, you should pay attention to the number of successful cases they have won. This is important as it determines if the lawyer is the right person for your case. To know a lawyer’s experience, you should track their record of similar cases to yours.
The best way to understand how lawyers handle cases is to read past client reviews. Top law firms usually have their lawyer’s reviews on their website. You can also check other applicable online websites.
3. Type of experience
Immigration law has several sub-specialties. They include employment-based immigration, appellate work, deportation defense, miscellaneous immigration work, and crimmigration (the intersection of criminal law and immigration law). This shows that the field of immigration law is vast, and it can be pretty hard and rare to specialize or have a high proficiency level in every subspecialty.
So, when searching for an immigration lawyer, ensure you ask them questions about their type of specialty and their experience in it. Make sure it aligns with your case. This will further increase your chances of success.
You should also take note of immigration law firms handling every type of case. Such law firms might come off as a jack of all trades. They might lack a core competency, and you might put yourself at risk if there is no practical counsel assistance.
4. Contact the lawyer bar association
When seeking an immigration attorney, you can talk with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and seek a referral to an immigration attorney. This bar association has a comprehensive list of qualified lawyers from every part of the country. There you can find potential candidates for your case.
The AILA also has immigration subcategories like visa and political asylum. You can choose your subcategory and narrow your search to get the best professional that suits your case. You can also talk with your local and state bar associations. They can also help you connect with attorneys who are close to you.
5. Perform an online research
Though bar associations are an excellent palace to get referrals, they might not help sometimes. When such happens, you can use the web to search for lawyers.
The internet can help you perform background research, even when you have identified the potential attorney. You can do your research to ensure that the attorney is appropriately qualified to help you with your case.
You can also use the internet to help verify the lawyer’s licenses and find past accounts of professional discipline and conduct.
6. Use trusted referrals
You can comb through your circle of friends, family, and business partners to get a trusted referral who can serve you well. The lawyer will help analyze your case, tell you your unknown options, and provide the best approach.
The advantage of this option is that you can avoid being disappointed with the service you will receive since the person will come from within your circle and will be suitable for your case.
7. Ensure you check their credentials and licenses
Before choosing a lawyer for your immigration case, you must know their licenses and credentials. This is the best way to know they are qualified to handle your case. Their website is an excellent place to check for a lawyer’s information. You can also peruse the official database of the American Bar Association.
Additionally, ensure that the attorney is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Qualified attorneys have the required credentials and can do everything they can to ensure you win your case.
8. Check their fees
It is common knowledge that there is a price for quality. A careful look can provide a lower price whenever you get a quote. But, if you are not being charged an unreasonable rate, you should know that it is best to seek the best legal help you can afford. Some attorneys usually show their rates on their websites. You can use this for reference.
Even though you don’t find the lowest rate available, you should opt for an average price among reputable immigration law firms with experienced lawyers. You should also know that firms charge higher rates than average to unsuspicious clients. A good law firm would base its fee on market research and a reasonable overhead incurred cost.
Choosing the best and the right lawyer for your case can increase your chance of gaining immigration benefits such as citizenship, deportation protection, or visa. So, you must adequately search for the best lawyer available. In the United States, there are several immigration lawyers you can choose from, some are competent, and others are not.
Many non-lawyers also offer legal services, so you have to be careful. Following the eight tips mentioned above can help you choose the best immigration lawyer for your immigration case.
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