20 Sep 2011 | 8 Comments | posted by dhenu | in Blog, DACA, Deferred Action, DREAM Act, I-601 Waivers of Unlawful Presence / Extreme Hardship Waivers / Stateside Waivers, immigration application, n-400 Naturalization
With so many immigration attorneys, you may be wondering how to find the best attorney for your case. Every person has differing needs and finding the best immigration attorney to handle a particular case is a tricky issue. However, it is worth taking the time to really research, as your immigration solution is obviously very important for you. Here is a general guide to how to find the best immigration lawyer for you:
1) Does the Lawyer offer you the chance to get to know him or her before making your hiring decision?
An attorney-client relationship is a relationship based on trust. Many attorneys do not offer the opportunity to get to know the attorney before making a decision on whether or not to hire him or her. At SwagatUSA, we believe that everyone should have an opportunity to know the lawyer you hire. We openly offer our clients the chance to talk to us before committing to an attorney-client relationship. After all, the relationship works best when there is mutual trust and respect. You need to know the lawyer you hire.
2) Does the Lawyer get to know your situation from multiple perspectives?
Many times an immigration issue is presented in a matter-of-fact way; for example, you might go to a lawyer and say “I want to renew my H-1B.” While that is a simple request, a great lawyer should take the time to explore any other better forms of relief that might be available for you.
A great lawyer will also analyze the context of your current situation. For example, you may have a trip planned in the near future, or you may be next in line for a raise. Does the lawyer really get to know your priorities in LIFE as well as in your immigration case? If so, that’s the difference between a good and a great lawyer. A great lawyer is a good COUNSELOR and makes your immigration solution FIT with your life goals.
Asking the right questions to know your FULL situation is a priority at your consultation with us.
3) Does the lawyer offer you appropriate options?
A client who wants an application filed in 10 days due to an emergency is not the same type of a client as someone who has 3 months. A client who is at work 12 hours a day does not have the same time as a client who is a stay-at-home mom. Your priorities about everything time, money, and social situations are unique. You should have the options to make sure that your case is handled in an equally unique fashion.
Behind the Scenes
4) Who will handle my case-work? What is the attorney to staff ratio in the law firm?
It is not uncommon for law firms to have an attorney do the consultations and then not see the case again until the final stages for signature, etc. A good law firm is one where an attorney ACTIVELY manages the case regardless of the expertise of the staff. The truth is, the law firms where the vast majority of the case work is managed by non-attorney staff are not well-equipped to handle nuances in the case. Your case may be a carbon-copy of every other case the law firm processes with the names and personal information replaced. MAKE SURE that your case is actively managed by an attorney who understands your unique situation. You should always know the attorney managing your case and have his or her contact information.
Structure of the Law Firm
5) Is the law firm focused on a single practice area of law?
It’s true. Law firms where the staff and attorneys work on a single practice area, such as only immigration law, are more likely to have systems designed to best handle immigration cases. You do not want to choose a law firm where a paralegal may work on a real estate case, jump to an immigration matter, and go back to handling a divorce case for another client. It is difficult to keep updated with all areas of law, and it is difficult to design systems that efficiently handle cases in all areas of the law. A focused law firm brings forth efficiency and expertise that is not matched by a generalist law firm.
Qualifications and Expertise of the Managing Attorney
6) Does the lawyer take on leadership roles on relevant topics of law?
A good lawyer will keep on top of the changes in immigration laws, practices, and policies. A lawyer who takes an interest in speaking, writing, and researching tends to have the best network for problem-solving difficult issues, and a demonstrated interest in the practice of immigration law. Even the best lawyers often face difficulties when dealing with the government on difficult immigration matters. A resourceful and active lawyer will have the network to help resolve these issues.
At SwagatUSA, Dhenu Savla is active in the legal community and maintains an active interest in learning and understanding immigration law in depth.