In this post, we answer one of your most frequently asked questions: how can you find the right immigration lawyer for you?
You need an immigration lawyer, but how do you find the right one? Watch this video to learn all about what you need to know before hiring an immigration lawyer.
In this video we offer several guidelines that can help you decide on the right immigration lawyer for you.
First of all, you may want to begin by asking for a referral from your close network of friends or family members who may have already worked closely with an immigration lawyer. Social media is a great resource to ask for recommendations from your network and look up reviews of immigration attorneys in your area. You should make a list of the attorneys you would like to work with and contact their offices to set up a consultation. Most attorneys offer free first-time consultations. Free consultations are a great opportunity for the client to meet one-on-one with the attorney and see if you have a connection with the attorney and would ultimately like to retain the attorney to work on your particular case.
Flat Fee Considerations
Secondly, it is important for you to find out during your consultation whether the attorney charges a flat rate for his services or whether the immigration attorney bills the client an hourly rate. Most immigration attorneys charge flat rates for their services, but this may not always be the case depending on the type of immigration service you are seeking (for example asylum and removal defense cases may require additional costs). Flat rates are more desirable for clients because you will know up front how much it will cost you to pay for the legal fees associated with your case. This may be a good way to determine whether an attorney is the right one for you.
Come to the consultation with the attorney prepared. Research the immigration service you are seeking and become informed about the process beforehand so that you can ask the attorney your burning questions and any concerns you may have before starting the filing process. You will want to discuss with your attorney the steps involved in the process, the general plan to achieving success on your application, the hurdles that you may run into during the process, and fallback options if your application is unsuccessful. An attorney who can provide you with the full picture of the legal process will allow you to have greater confidence and peace of mind.
Is your attorney a member of AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers Association)
Another important consideration is to find out whether your attorney is a member of AILA. Although membership in AILA is not required of immigration attorneys, membership in AILA shows the client that the attorney is investing time and money to expand their legal education and be informed about the latest developments in immigration law. Membership in AILA may show that the attorney is more likely than not to be up to speed in the latest changes to immigration law.
Check Reviews Online
Another important consideration when hiring an immigration lawyer is to see what other clients are saying about their experiences working with that immigration lawyer online. The three main websites where you can look up attorney reviews include Yelp, Google Reviews, and Avvo. If an attorney has no reviews online it may be a bit of a red flag to hire that lawyer, unless that attorney is new to the practice of immigration law. Another consideration is to check where the attorney is licensed and whether the attorney has any disciplinary issues.
Get a Second Opinion
Lastly, it is important for you to meet with several attorneys before making a decision. Every attorney has a different style and way of working, so it is important for you to determine whether you see yourself working with that attorney in the long run.
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