09 Sep 5 Tips For Finding A Great Immigration Lawyer
There are over 43 million people living in the United States who were born in other countries. If you have dreams of making it big in America, you will need to work with a good immigration lawyer to make your dream happen.
Choose an Immigration Lawyer Carefully
However, if you end up with the wrong lawyer, you could be overcharged, end up without the services you needed, or even have your case damaged in a way that you may never recover from.
Whether you need to file a petition for a green card or visa, avoid deportation, or apply for immigration benefits, you will only get so far unless you’ve got a great lawyer on your side. Here are some tips to help you avoid the wrong ones.
Make Sure You’re Working With a Real Lawyer
You wouldn’t hire someone who isn’t a doctor to perform surgery on you — you would want a specialist for that. Likewise, you don’t want to hire someone without credentials or training to help you with your immigration case.
That may seem far-fetched, but it’s not as uncommon as you might think. There are some people without legal education who offer to assist foreigners with the immigration process. These people aren’t always dishonest, and sometimes they’re truly well-intentioned. But they just don’t understand the complexities of immigration law. They may call themselves visa consultants or petition preparers, but if they aren’t trained lawyers specializing in immigration laws, you should run the other way.
In a best-case scenario, these non-lawyers won’t be able to handle all the things you need to have done as an immigrant. At worst, they might take your money and run, or fill out your forms wrong, causing irreversible damage to your case.
This is why it’s critical to hire a legitimate, practicing immigration lawyer to handle your case.
Stay Away from Lawyers Who Approach You at Immigration Offices
There are some lawyers who hang around immigration offices, trying to solicit business from people seeking immigration help. These are considered “high-volume, low value” attorneys, and attempting to solicit business in this way is not ethical in the eyes of the legal bar.
Besides, any immigration lawyer worth their salt is going to be too busy with actual cases to spend all their time prowling around immigration offices. Look for a lawyer who really cares about their clients, and stay away from those who will do anything to ensnare unsuspecting clients.
Avoid Lawyers Who Offer Unethical Legal Advice
If an attorney suggests that you lie on an application or offers to bribe an authority for an extra fee, it’s best to turn and walk away.
Anytime a lawyer asks you to do something that doesn’t sound ethical, you had better reconsider working with them. If you try to cheat the system and get caught, you’re going to be in a lot more trouble than your attorney is, and nothing you say is likely to shift the blame over to them. Worse, this can leave a permanent stain on your immigration record, to the point that you may be deemed inadmissible, or ineligible for any future green cards or visas — ever.
As long as you’re cautious and you do your research before hiring a lawyer, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Just be wary of any attorney that shows strange behavior or asks you to do questionable things.
Take Unrealistic Promises Skeptically
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how great an immigration lawyer is — even the best cannot guarantee a 100% success rate. The ultimate decision will be left up to a judge, the USCIS, or the Department of Homeland Defense. If an attorney claims to guarantee a particular outcome, or to have a total success rate, they should be more closely evaluated before you trust them with your case.
Research a Lawyer Before Hiring
You can learn a lot about a lawyer using the internet. From verifying their membership with a state bar association (a critical requirement) to seeing reviews from past clients, almost anything you need to know before hiring an attorney can be found online. Learn all you can about an immigration lawyer before you decide to entrust your case to them.