How do you choose the best and most experienced immigration attorney? Although you may not believe it, it is not so difficult, that is why we have created this list of 10 rules to choose the best:
Immigration Attorneys Only Fill Out Papers: It is very common for potential clients (and even fellow attorneys) to ask us if our services are really necessary since “the only thing that immigration attorneys do is fill out forms.” The answer is very simple, a good immigration attorney takes the time to explore even the smallest aspects of your client’s case. This means that the attorney not only makes sure that the forms are properly filled out, but also assesses the client’s immediate and mediate goals in order to be victorious. For example, a good immigration lawyer must necessarily be one step ahead and advise the client about possible risks and problems in the future. It will also avoid unnecessary expenses and waste of time.
Pay Attention to the Lawyer’s Biography: A good start to choosing an immigration attorney is to read his biography. Definitely, some biographies can be made up so that the lawyer looks better than others but, in any case, it is a good point of reference. Because we lawyers are regulated by a Bar Association, a lie or lack of transparency in the biography could put the lawyer in serious trouble. It is very important to analyze the content of the biography with a magnifying glass. There are many magazines and directories that charge attorneys to be sponsored and included in their “best attorneys” lists. Basically, being sponsored and being on these “best attorneys” lists doesn’t really mean a special achievement. As usual, Being listed in several lists or directories only means that the lawyer maintains good marketing, making his payments with the organization that sponsors him. It is imperative, however, to know how many years of experience the lawyer has, if he has been a prosecutor or an immigration judge and if he is a member of theUS Immigration (AILA). Equally important is knowing how many years of experience in immigration cases the attorney has. For example, a lawyer who has 10 years of experience doing 3 years of divorces, 3 years of bankruptcy, 3 years of criminal defense and 1 year of immigration is less qualified than a lawyer with 5 years of experience dedicated exclusively to immigration cases.
Choose an “Expert” Immigration Lawyer:There are four states (California, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas) that truly make choosing the best immigration attorney very easy. These four states have special programs to qualify immigration attorneys as “experts” on the subject. Obtaining the distinction of “expert” immigration attorney is not easy. The attorney will have to go through a rigorous qualification filter process; You will need to obtain recommendations from judges, experts, and other immigration attorneys. The attorney will also have to demonstrate their professional, ethical, and academic qualifications. Ultimately, the attorney will have to pass a written exam to demonstrate excellence in all matters relating to immigration law. Being an experienced immigration attorney is generally a very good indicator that the attorney is of high quality. How can one ensure that the lawyer is an immigration expert? Easy, reading their biographies, their business cards, or also in the list of expert lawyers in the four states that offer these specialization programs.
Lawyer Office Location:Locating an office is very important to any business, however it is not very important when choosing an immigration attorney. Immigration laws are federal laws and are the same throughout the United States. This means that even though an attorney is admitted to practice law in only one state, he or she can exercise immigration law in all fifty states. The vast majority of immigration processes are done through mailings to the different central offices of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). These headquarters are located in various parts of the USA (California, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri and Vermont). If you are considering hiring an attorney who does not have an office near where you live, ask if the attorney will be present with you in case of interviews or court hearings. For example, our main office is in South Florida, but we constantly travel to represent clients around the US and the world. It is not out of the ordinary that we do not personally know some of our clients since we use technology to communicate with them by telephone, via teleconference and email.
Compare Lawyers by Their Quality and Not by How Much They Charge: The key points in hiring an immigration lawyer should be the quality and reputation of the lawyer and not the price of their fees. We recommend that before hiring any immigration attorney, you first meet with two or three attorneys of impeccable quality and reputation. Only after you have found these high-quality attorneys, will you only be able to compare fee-to-price prices to make a final decision. Obviously, an experienced immigration attorney will charge more than a non-expert attorney; however, when you hire an expert lawyer you also choose peace of mind, since you will have a lawyer with truly exceptional characteristics handling your case.
In Many Immigration Cases, Cheap Is Expensive:Some clients make their decisions out of pocket alone and hire the lawyer who charges less. Even worse, some people prefer to get the services of people who are not even lawyers, like a notary or immigration consultant. It is very common for a lawyer not to charge you a lot because you are not very experienced and did not take the time to thoroughly examine your case. Some other cheap attorneys don’t charge much because they will use their cases as learning, without really caring about your interests or goals. But definitely the most unscrupulous are notaries and immigration consultants. In general, these notaries and consultants do not even know where they stand on immigration issues, and they are absolutely prohibited from giving any kind of legal advice. Only an attorney can give legal advice after the inexperienced, inexperienced lawyer or notary made a serious mistake in the process. The worst of these situations is that sometimes these errors cause irreparable damage.
Read the Fee Agreement with Attention and Payment Methods: A good immigration lawyer should be clear on what he will do for the client and how much he will charge for his services. That is why the representation contract between the lawyer and the client must be transparent and clear. If, for example, the lawyer is going to charge extra to keep an appointment or to receive phone calls, this must be clearly stipulated in the representation contract. Some attorneys charge by the hour and others charge a flat fee for all representation. Some attorneys offer payment plans and others do not. Before hiring the immigration attorney, ask them to explain in detail what their fees and payment methods include.
The Lawyer Speaks Your Language: Although it is important and very comfortable for the client that their lawyer speak the same language, this does not mean or guarantee that the lawyer is a good lawyer, much less an immigration expert. Neither the nationality nor the language spoken by the lawyer should influence the decision to choose the best immigration lawyer.
The Lawyer Has Good Connections: Be very careful of the lawyer who ensures that you have connections within the USCIS and that he can do what other lawyers cannot. Also be careful of those lawyers who guarantee results or who assure that you can speed up your procedures. First, many attorneys frequent USCIS offices and courts often, and being recognized by immigration agents or judges does not guarantee anything. Immigration officers and judges are neutral and are there to do their job regardless of the level of friendship or knowledge they have with the immigration attorney. Second, an immigration attorney cannot guarantee results, that is illegal. An attorney who guarantees results can lose your professional license.
Choose a Lawyer You Are Comfortable With: A positive relationship between a client and their immigration attorney is bound to be based on trust. From the first day you get the first consultation with your lawyer, see if he takes the time to explain your case in detail; if you are attentive and patient to clearly answer all your questions; And if it gives you confidence so that you can expand and tell him your most intimate secrets. A good immigration attorney doesn’t just have to be available to your clients during office hours. A good immigration attorney does not go away after the client has hired you. A good immigration attorney is willing to personally attend to your clients 24 hours a day, if necessary.