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The population of lawyers across America is 15% higher than it was 10 years ago. If you need help navigating the US immigration system, you need an expert. With over 1,338,000 lawyers in the US, you need a way to narrow down your options.
Here are six tips that can help you find an immigration lawyer. With the best immigration lawyer at your side, you can simplify the immigration process.
Otherwise, you could struggle to navigate the system alone. You might make a mistake handling your paperwork along the way, too.
Don’t let that happen! Instead, start your search for the best immigration lawyer around with these tips today.
1. Know What to Avoid
Before you start your search for an immigration system lawyer, it helps to know what to avoid.
Many low-value, inexperienced immigration lawyers walk the halls of immigration offices, looking for clients. This behavior isn’t ethical, though. A good immigration lawyer is probably busy helping a client.
If a lawyer approaches you at an immigration office, they’re likely desperate for clients. Instead, use these tips to find an immigration lawyer you can trust.
Make sure you’re dealing with a real lawyer, too. Avoid anyone who calls themselves a:
- Visa consultant
- Petition preparer
Instead, check the local bar association website. Make sure the lawyer you choose is licensed to practice law in the state. Confirm that their license is up-to-date, too.
Only a practicing lawyer can help you fully navigate the immigration system. These non-lawyers could do more harm than good. They’ll claim they’re capable of assisting foreigners with the immigration process.
Some will take your money and run. Others will fill out your paperwork incorrectly.
You should also remain skeptical of anyone who makes promises that sound too good to be true. If a lawyer says they have a 100% success rate, look elsewhere. Instead, fully vet your options before choosing a lawyer.
Knowing what to avoid when hiring an immigration lawyer can help you make a smarter decision for your future.
2. Consider Their Credentials
To search for a lawyer, visit your local bar association website or the Martindale-Hubbel directory online. Then, make a list of potential immigration system lawyers to research further. Doing your due diligence can help you feel more comfortable with your choice.
Check to see if the lawyer is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA). The best immigration lawyers are a part of this organization.
Before hiring a lawyer, consider their specialty. Hiring a general lawyer might not help your case. Instead, look for someone who specializes in immigration cases.
An experienced immigration lawyer will understand the laws, procedures, and relevant cases that might impact your situation. They’ll have an easier time helping you navigate the immigration system.
A general lawyer, on the other hand, might lack the know-how you need. They could unintentionally make mistakes along the way.
Choosing someone with years of practical experience handling immigration cases can give you peace of mind.
3. Look for Years of Experience
Ask each lawyer on your list how long they’ve practiced law. Look for someone with years of hands-on experience.
Finding an experienced lawyer can help you feel confident in their abilities. It’s likely they’ve handled a great number of immigration cases in the past. Ask each lawyer on your list how many cases they’ve handled.
Ask how many cases they’ve handled that were similar to yours, too. It can help to find someone who is familiar with your situation. They’ll have an easier time helping you navigate the immigration process.
Immigration law is a complicated area. It’s important to find someone with experience and expertise you can count on.
Once you have a few potential lawyers on your list, interview them. Make sure the lawyer has the expertise you need. Many lawyers offer a free consultation appointment.
During your consultation, ask:
- How long have you practiced law
- How long have you specialized with immigration cases
- Who else will work on my case
- How will you approach my case
- How can I contact you
- Do you have experience working on cases that are similar to mine
Asking these questions can help you find the right fit for your situation.
4. Request References and Reviews
If you want to find the best immigration lawyer, don’t believe everything the lawyer tells you. Instead, ask to speak with at least three of their recent clients. Make sure to speak with clients whose cases were similar to yours.
Then, ask each client about their experience with the lawyer.
Was the lawyer professional, knowledgeable, and on time? Did the client have any issues contacting their lawyer?
It’s important to find someone who is accessible. If they’re busy handling too many cases at once, they might neglect your case. They could cause unnecessary delays or miss deadlines as a result.
You can also look for reviews online. Check the lawyer’s Better Business Bureau and Google My Business listings.
If the lawyer has any major complaints filed against them, scratch them off your list.
5. Check Their Track Record
There are over 30,000 immigration lawyers and attorneys in the US. If you want to find the best immigration lawyer, consider their track record.
Ask each lawyer about their most recent cases. What happened? How were they able to help their clients?
You can check out this immigration law guide to learn more.
Learning more about their previous track record can help you feel confident in their abilities to help you.
6. Compare Rates
Before choosing an immigration lawyer, ask at least three lawyers about their rates. Do they charge a flat fee, or by the hour?
Don’t choose the cheapest option available. Instead, take the time to review your notes.
Make sure you’re choosing the best immigration system lawyer for your specific case.
Handling the Immigration System: 6 Tips for Finding the Best Immigration Lawyer
You don’t have to hire the first immigration lawyer you come across. Instead, use these tips to narrow down your options. With these tips, you can find the right professional to help you navigate the immigration system.
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