Finding a first rate or excellent immigration lawyer is your first step to a successful immigration story and experience.
Many immigrants with high prospects got their cases screwed up before locating an excellent lawyer. It is easier for a good quality lawyer to handle a bad case and succeed at it, than for him/her to be engaged to control damages caused by a poor quality lawyer in a good case.
It is essential you know from the beginning of your relationship with an immigration lawyer that all over the world and in every profession, you will find outstanding or superlative professionals as well as the awful ones and as a result, you must be open-minded.
The outcome of your immigration case will largely depend on the class of lawyer you engage.
In most cases, clients only consider the cost of professional fees to determine whether or not to retain a lawyer this yardstick may not work in your best interest. Retaining an excellent lawyer at very high fees is possible. You may also engage a lousy immigration lawyer who ends up overcharging you and fails to provide the promised professional services and damage your case in a manner you might never recuperate from it even after retaining the best lawyer in the jurisdiction to carry out damage control services.
When seeking to file a petition for a visa or green card, resident permits, adjustment of status, avoiding deportation, or applying for any immigration benefit, ensure that you make a quality decision to engage the services of the right class of lawyer on your side.
There are red flags you must carefully watch that may signify that the lawyer you are about to retain will not serve your interest Bottom of Form. These tips may not be exhaustive of the indications but will guide you to exercise your discretion in making a quality decision:
Use The Search Tool Of The Internet To Conduct A Background Search On The Lawyer
The internet will be your first search tool to probably find out a lot about a lawyer before engaging him/her professionally.
Practicing lawyers are usually listed as members of a State Bar Association which is a significant condition precedent to ascertain whether the person is a lawyer in the first instance. You may visit the Association’s website to conduct this investigation.
You may also visit the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) website to make your findings whether or not the person is an expert in immigration matters. AILA is a professional organization for the best American Immigration Attorneys. A person may be a genuine lawyer, but his/her area of practice must match with the services for which he/she is seeking to be engaged.
You may also consider using other conventional internet search engines to ascertain whether the lawyer gets good reviews on his websites or whether the lawyer has written any book on immigration law or other professional articles for publication.
Your investigation may also reveal that the lawyer was recently arrested for fraud, forgery or has been disbarred or that the person was arrested for impersonation as a lawyer.
Ensure that your attorney is a person of good standing and have never been subjected to disciplinary action. There is no cost. Most state bars allow you to search or look up for the attorney by name or bar number online.
Engage A Lawyer That is Able to Read And Speak Your Language
Language can be the barrier in expressions and explanation of your challenges. Find a lawyer that is able to read and speak your language fluently.
Avoid Lawyers Who Make Advance At You in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Or Other Immigration Centers.
Ambulance chasing is severe professional misconduct in any jurisdiction of legal practice. It is also the first hint that you are about to retain a quack or incompetent professional. Most poor quality immigration attorneys stalk the lobbies of immigration offices attempting to solicit briefs or business. It is unethical behavior by an immigration lawyer. A first-rate immigration attorney is likely going to be very busy working for his/her clients instead of running after new clients in a dishonorable way.
Ensure That You Are Dealing With A Genuine/Licensed Lawyer, And Not A Visa Consultant Or Petition Preparer
If you wouldn’t retain a janitor as your Doctor or retain cobbler as your Accountant, then it is proper you ensure that only a genuine or licensed practicing lawyer should be trusted to handle your immigration briefs. I heard of a situation where a taxi driver offered to render immigration service to a desperate immigrant; such scenario will end in more difficulty and complication. Many non-lawyers with genuine intentions, who are not acquainted with the intricacies of the area of law, claim to be capable of assisting immigrants who require immigration services. The outcome of services rendered by quacks can be devastation, and the client may never get over it.
Be Doubtful Of Impracticable Promises
The best attorneys all over the world cannot guarantee success. They may make statements on the prospects of your case, but will most likely not guarantee the outcome of your case. It is only an Immigration Judge or the Department of Homeland Defense and/or USCIS that can guuarantee a case based on the facts and evidence before them and by virtue of their powers and discretion under law.
An attorney who claims he or she has a 100% success rate or guarantees a specific outcome may need to be more intimately appraised. As it even amounts to professional misconduct to guarantee a client on the outcome of the brief you are handling.
Avoid Lawyers Who Give Unethical Advice Or Suggest Illegal Options Or Make Illegal Offers
An Immigration attorney who gives unethical advice such as suggesting that you lie in an application or to a USCIS officer during an interview or forge any document or that you pay extra money as a bribe to an immigration authority, or that you buy a fake green card from any source should be utterly avoided and disregarded.
Be informed that if you are caught in the process, you are likely to get into much more quandary than the attorney and will lead to a permanent blemish on your immigration record, probably make you disqualified or ineligible for any future visas or green cards.
In some cases, you may be prosecuted and convicted according to law depending on the charge.
Seek Counsel From More Than One Lawyer And Compare The Quality Of Advice
Most good immigration attorneys are pretty full of activity; it is advisable you seek an audience with more than one lawyer and their office or paralegal staff to gather a proper judgment of their dedication to clients and their character and notion of sincerity.
Speaking with a number of attorneys will provide you with the basis for comparison before making a choice of lawyer for your immigration needs.
Look For Experience
Immigration law is one of the most complicated areas of law. It is crucial you locate an excellent lawyer with requisite experience. Be cautious of attorneys that practice law in multiple areas. Look for a licensed attorney that focuses or specializes on immigration law. I recommend that the attorney should have more than five years of practice or post call experience in handling cases analogous to yours. For instance, where you are seeking refugee status, your immigration attorney should have extensive experience with refugee cases. Ensure that your needs match with the lawyer’s expertise.
Based on the preceding, you may have to pay for your time with different or sundry attorney as an initial consultation fee while searching for the person that soothes your need. However, you may also encounter attorneys that provide a free initial consultation. Furthermore, you must note that most first-rate attorneys will charge a reasonable fee to speak to you.
One On One Enquiry
Ask family and friends before engaging the service of an immigration lawyer because you may take their personal experience for granted. They may know good immigration attorney. They can also rescue you from falling prey with a poor quality immigration attorney. You can also enquire from Non-Governmental Organizations, Advocates and rights groups of they can recommend a local attorney. Do not despise lawyers’ reviews. You may also search online for CitizenPath to find a list of organizations and websites that can refer an excellent immigration attorney.
Comfort And Trust
Determine whether or not you are comfortable with the lawyers’ style of answering your question. Choose a lawyer you like and can trust. Be sure that you are confident that the lawyer can fight for you. In some cases, the way the lawyer and their staffs return your calls or answer your question can also give you a hint on how they value you, and this may affect the outcome of your matter. Be confident to ask questions about their level of experience.
Build a Cordial Relationship with your Attorney
Your immigration status is the first step to building a business in the United States. It is essential you build trust with your attorney as this may affect the outcome of your case. You must feel free to discuss all your immigration concerns with him/her.