Locating a lawyer that can effectively help with your immigration questions may not be easy. Don’t expect to locate a good lawyer just by simply looking in the phone book, searching the internet, or reading an advertisement. These sources do not have enough information to help you make valid comparisons and judgments.
Although an attorney isn’t always necessary when dealing with an immigration question or situations, if you’ve decided you want to hire an immigration lawyer, you are probably now wondering how you go about finding a good immigration lawyer.
Before you begin your search to find an immigration attorney, do remember that there are many different types of immigration lawyers out there. From removal defense, family-based immigration, or humanitarian options, it is key to focus on attorneys who regularly handle your case type.
Tips for finding an Immigration Lawyer:
1. Ask around to see if any of your friends or family know of any attorneys they could recommend. Your friends and family can also tell you about those attorneys you should not hire. Make sure to specify the type of immigration lawyer you are looking for.
2. If you know a local attorney personally or have worked with an attorney before, even if they don’t practice immigration law; they may be able to give you a reliable reference.
3. Run an immigration attorney search in directories such as AILA, Avvo, LegalMatch, NOLO and Martindale Hubbell, which provide information such as practice areas, location, disciplinary records, and customer lawyer reviews.
4. Consult your local or state bar association’s attorney directory which is a list of lawyers in your area. Most bar association provide this service online.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Immigration Lawyer
Now that you are narrowing in on some options, it’s best to get started with attorney interviews. Here are a few questions to ask the attorney during your initial consultation or phone call:
1. Will I be charged for an initial consultation? How long is the initial consultation?
2. How long have you been practicing immigration law?
3. How much experience do you have in cases like mine, and more importantly, what were the outcomes of those cases? What do you think the outcome of my case will be? (Be careful with those attorneys who guarantee outcomes!)
4. Have you ever been the subject of disciplinary action?
5. What are your fees? What services are included? How do you expect to be paid (lump sum, installments, etc.)? Are your fees or fee structure negotiable?
6. What is your caseload currently like? Do you have the time to commit to my case?
7. How will you communicate with me regarding my case, and how often will I hear from you?
One way to get a feel for an attorney’s practice is to be observant when you go for your first consultation or through an initial phone call. Take special note of how the office is run, whether there is enough support staff, and if you were treated courteously.
Not every person or case needs the assistance of an immigration lawyer, but if you need the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer, our trusted Dayton, Ohio immigration lawyers are here to help. Contact us for a case evaluation today!