When it comes to hiring a good immigration attorney one needs to follow one’s instincts, check out the attorney in depth and be watchful of red flags. Hiring the wrong attorney can be costly in terms of their future and the fees incurred. Whether one is seeking to file a petition for a visa or green card, trying to avoid deportation, or applying for some other immigration benefit, one needs to ensure that they find the right attorney. Here are some tips:
- Make sure you are dealing with a licensed attorney and not a petition preparer or a notario who could be nothing but a typing service.
- Refrain from attorneys who will try to give you illegal advice or offers. You may have more to lose than the attorney as it may the damage may be irreparable on your immigration record, potentially making you ineligible for any future visas or green cards
- Evaluate your “fit” with the attorney and talk with several attorneys will give you a basis for comparison before choosing the right one for you. You should thoroughly research the immigration attorney. Compare the advice given with several attorneys. Get references.
- There is no guarantee of success – be careful of attorneys who make you loft promises.
- Negotiate the attorney’s fees ahead of time – fixed fees work best once they evaluated your case
- Hire an attorney who speaks your language and understands your background. It can help with translation of documents and research required.
- Lastly don’t try to find a bargain. They might be handling too many cases at the same time and unable to give you the attention you need. They may have inadequate experience and may be learning at your expense..
Finding an attorney is best by word of mouth within your own community – must check out his/her success rate and hopefully speaks the same language. In addition, here are a few good links to resources that you may want to consider:
- The American Immigration Lawyers Association is probably where one should start looking. Follow this link http://www.aila.org/ to a quick link on their website to find a lawyer/
- http://www.visaplace.com/ (they have good reviews)
- http://immigration.lawyers.com/ (could be a good resource based upon their breadth of knowledge and the number of attorneys)