Although certain applications for immigration benefits are fairly easy enough for a layperson to handle, often, one’s immigration needs, deportation, defense or consular processing, for example are best served by seeking immigration counsel. The oversupply of immigration practitioners, however, is one reason making the choice for the right immigration attorney difficult? The following tips have proven helpful in making the right choice.
Surf the web:
As we go on to the 21st Century, the internet has increasingly become part and parcel of our daily activities. Even those least technologically informed among us, most of the so called “baby boomers” cannot deny that they too are “connected” and find themselves online via various other resources. You can use the world wide web to get your initial list of attorneys or as a source for additional information on those attorneys that have made your list.
Going online, you will find several helpful Websites. The AILA‘s (American Immigration Lawyers Association) and Nolo Publication’s Websites are particularly helpful. Both the AILA and Nolo have a “Find an Immigration Lawyer” feature and that, by merely inputting your zip code, would locate an attorney near you. Equally helpful in making the right choice for an immigration lawyer is the immigration lawyer’s Website, if one is available. In fact, some law firms have Websites with interactive features that allow one to email in an immigration question. Take advantage of this convenient means of access.
Get references from your friends, family, co-workers, or other lawyers. Today, especially in California, Texas, New York, and Florida states with the largest multi-cultural population in the united states hardly anyone has had no contact with someone who knows of an immigration lawyer. And most attorneys who practice in other areas of law are often good and reliable sources of referrals.
Come up with a list or “pool” of at least five names, noting those in the “pool” who have been recommended more than once. Once you come up with a list of potential immigration attorneys, narrow your search by investigating their credentials, including going online for any more information.
Another helpful way to narrow your choice is to interview the immigration lawyers that made your initial list. Among the foremost questions in your mind should include:
• How accessible is the immigration attorney?
• Was I able to speak with the attorney or an assistant?
• Does the immigration attorney charge a flat fee or an hourly rate?
• Are the immigration attorney’s rates reasonable?
• How convenient is the immigration attorney’s office location?
• Will an immigration lawyer or paralegal handle the immigration matter?
• How long has the immigration attorney been in practice?
The answer to these and other questions aimed at getting an idea of an immigration attorney’s experience, accessibility, reasonable fees, and dedication should prove helpful in making your ultimate choice of an immigration attorney.
The steps we usually take to become better-informed consumers of products researching, investigating, and comparing are the same steps that should help us in making the right choice as consumers of legal services. Asking, surfing, and interviewing should all help to get the immigration attorney who is just right for you.