Getting recommendations from friends and acquaintances is a great way to find an immigration attorney. However, remember that every legal case is different.
Make sure that the trusted immigration attorney for your needs. Check their credentials by contacting the bar association or searching online.
You should also check if the attorney has been disciplined by USCIS or other regulatory authorities. Doing so will help you avoid hiring someone with a history of malpractice or ethics violations.
A lawyer-client relationship is a highly personal and confidential one. You must choose an attorney you can trust with the most sensitive details of your case. A good place to start is asking for recommendations from friends and family members who have gone through immigration procedures themselves.
You can also look up attorney ratings on websites such as Martindale and others. You should pay attention to both the rating and the client reviews.
An excellent indication of an immigration attorney’s competence is membership in AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association. However, this is not a guarantee of quality, as immigration law changes rapidly and not every attorney keeps up with it.
Another important consideration is the number of paralegals compared to attorneys in a firm. Generally speaking, you want an attorney whose practice is primarily focused on immigration matters and who does not delegate his work to paralegals. Also, be sure the attorney carries malpractice insurance, as it is your only protection should he make a mistake that could cost you.
If you find a lawyer that you are interested in, ask about their experience with immigration law and cases like yours. If they have a lot of experience, it is likely that they know the process well and can assist you in getting your desired outcome.
A good way to check an attorney’s experience is through their website and other online resources. Look for reviews, media mentions, and professional discipline records.
In addition, you can also use a lawyer referral service to help you find the right attorney for your case. A good referral service will have a specific area of focus, such as work visas or asylum. It will save you time in finding a specialist in your case’s type. Beware of notario publicos, notary clerks, or immigration consultants who advertise themselves as “immigration attorneys.” These people are often scam artists that do not practice law and may give you bad advice. They can even put you at risk by suggesting that you bribe an immigration official or otherwise engage in illegal activities.
Often, the cost of an immigration attorney can seem prohibitive. However, if your lawyer prevents you from making costly mistakes that could lead to visa denials or other serious consequences, the costs will be worth it.
Immigration attorneys typically charge a fee for their services, along with government filing fees and other associated costs. In addition, some attorneys have flat fees for specific types of cases, while others have hourly rates.
It is important to be wary of individuals who claim to be immigration lawyers but who do not have the proper credentials. These individuals are often referred to as visa consultants or notarios. They may provide incorrect advice or take your money without providing any services.
You should also avoid legal centers that advertise low prices. They often have long wait times and do not provide the same level of service as private New York immigration lawyers. Also, be cautious of any individual who offers to assist you with your immigration process for a small fee. They may not be a licensed attorney and could end up costing you more in the long run.
The attorney should be able to answer any questions you may have in a clear and concise manner. If you feel that they are not able to communicate effectively then it might be best to find another attorney.
Ask about their credentials and what they have done to build a strong professional reputation. Check their website for this information but also search for reviews and disciplinary records with specific organizations.
The attorney should be available to speak with you on the phone or in person at a convenient time. They should respond promptly to emails and text messages. This is not always easy, but if the attorney you are considering does not meet these standards then it might be best to go elsewhere. Also, make sure they are not overburdened with work. This can be a sign that they do not treat clients with the attention and respect they deserve. This can lead to delays or errors that might be costly for you in your case.