The US is no stranger to immigration. Heck, the country as we know it was founded upon people jumping on ships and crossing the Atlantic for their slice of the American Dream. These days, almost 45 million immigrants have made their home in the United States.
Don’t be fooled though. Despite the history and high-rates of immigration in this country, immigrating to America is far from easy! You have to navigate crazy amounts of bureaucracy, apply for green cards, and so on.
To succeed, it helps to have support from the best immigration lawyer possible. But with countless attorneys to choose from, this decision can be difficult too. Want some expert advice on separating the good attorneys from the bad?
You’re in the right place! Check out our guide to hiring an immigration lawyer.
Think about the process of buying insurance for a second. You’d never pay for the first policy you came across, right? You’d do some digging and shop around to ensure you get the best cover for the best possible price.
Take the same approach when hiring an immigration lawyer. As we said in the intro, there are countless attorneys out there who would love to take your case (and your money). The problem is that not all of them are made equal!
Signing a contract with the first attorney you meet is a recipe for trouble. There might be a cheaper, better option down the street! Be diligent in your research, reach out to numerous attorneys in your area, and compare notes to decide who seems best.
Ask Friends and Family Members
A good port of call is always to speak with loved ones to see if they can recommend a good attorney. Someone you know may even have been through the immigration process (successfully) in the past! If so, they can be an invaluable source of information.
They may be able to refer you to the lawyer they used, saving you serious time and effort. You can trust their judgment, ask about the experience, and find out what it’s like to work with the attorney before hiring them. There’s a caveat here too, though…
Just because an attorney worked wonders for your friend doesn’t guarantee the same outcome for you! No two cases are ever the same. If your situation’s very different, then your friend’s recommendation may not be the best immigration lawyer for the task.
Avoid Budget Options
Do some digging and you’ll soon notice the wide range of price tags attached to legal support. There are high-end immigration attorneys who charge exorbitant sums of money. Then there are low-end options that charge nickels and dimes in comparison.
It’s tempting to go for the budget options. Trust us, though, now’s not the time for frugality! Cheap attorneys have lower charges for a reason.
The support they provide won’t be as thorough or effective. In worst-case scenarios, they might leave you high and dry. With your immigration status on the line, you can’t afford either eventuality.
Now, the legal support you get shouldn’t put undue pressure on your bank balance. But paying more than you might have planned to will be worth it. You’ll enjoy a smoother experience and more professional input along the complex road ahead.
We’re taught from a young age not to judge books by their covers. When you’re hiring an immigration attorney, though, we recommend setting that adage aside! Unlike other areas of life, appearances reveal a lot about a lawyer.
Look for designer suits and fancy office spaces. Look for framed certifications on the wall and expensive areas of town. These visual signs of success indicate they’ll be a good person to have in your corner.
It goes without saying that this isn’t a fool-proof strategy for finding a good immigration lawyer! Looks can always be deceiving. However, it’s definitely worth keeping in the back of your mind.
Looks aren’t everything though. Any immigration lawyer you hire must have the right qualifications and experience too. Make sure you validate these crucial elements before hiring anybody!
Their website’s a good place to start your investigations. Aside from assessing the site’s general feel and level of professionality, look for evidence of their credentials. You could also reach out to the local State Bar to confirm the attorney’s legitimacy.
Be sure to ask an immigration lawyer for references as well. Contacting their past clients and hearing about their experience is sure to help you make up your mind!
Likewise, any reluctance from the lawyer to provide these details is a red flag. They might be worried that you’d talk to someone who was unsatisfied with the support they received.
Read Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials from past clients can be another invaluable source of information and peace of mind. Seek them out online in the same way you’d use TripAdvisor to pick somewhere to eat! You can hear about peoples’ experiences and find out if they were satisfied with the support they received.
Something to keep in mind is that dissatisfied customers are more likely to leave reviews than satisfied ones! So take what you learn with a grain of salt. Negative feedback could provide useful insights into issues with an attorney, but it might not tell the whole story.
Time to Find the Best Immigration Lawyer
America is the land of the free and home of the brave. And the country we know and love today was built on intrepid, hardworking souls who immigrated here from all over the world! If you’re looking to do something similar, or have an immigration dispute to settle, then hiring the best immigration lawyer possible is all-important.
With any luck, the tips in this post will help you do it! Keep these suggestions in mind and you should be a step closer to finding an attorney and settling your immigration issue. To continue your education on these types of legal matters, browse the ‘Law’ section of the website now.