How to Select the Right Immigration Lawyer
Whether you are trying to extend your visa or are in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, you can simplify the paperwork and the process ahead of you with the services of an excellent immigration lawyer. When you are new to a country, there are many adjustments to make, including learning the language and getting an idea of how things work. The complexities involved in dealing with visas and the naturalization process can be difficult to navigate alone, and that is why it is important to have an extra pair of eyes, hands and legal knowledge to ensure the process is a success.
Qualifications and Experience
Everyone wants to hire a lawyer who has the right qualifications and experience, but sometimes there are certain choices to make. For instance, if you are on a tight budget, you may be tempted to settle for a lawyer that does not have the kind of strong credentials you would ordinarily want to see in a lawyer, such as USC LLM. It may be hard to cover legal fees and borrowing money may not be possible if you are new to a country, but you can perhaps find legal aid opportunities for prospective immigrants so you can afford a qualified lawyer.
You may have two lawyers who seem to be the same caliber, but one has stronger qualifications, such as a USC MPA, and the other has a less impressive law degree and has been in practice for longer. In addition, one may specialize in immigration law, while the one with the more elite degree may work with a broader variety of cases. It may be better, in some cases, to hire the lawyer who has a greater degree of specialization in immigration law. He or she might have worked on some landmark cases that are related to something you want to achieve, and this may carry more weight than the type of degree.
Don’t Go It Alone
Many people are tempted to go it alone with procedures involving legal complexities rather than hiring a lawyer. You may feel you have the time to sift through all the paperwork, but if you are new to a society, what you really need is representation. A lawyer can vouch for your and present your case eloquently. While you may speak fluent English, there are nuances that may be difficult even for native-born Americans. In addition, the naturalization process is complex and requires an expert to tackle the issues.
Communication Is the Key
In addition to education and qualifications, an efficient lawyer should know how to communicate with his or her client. A seasoned lawyer knows what questions to ask in order to get sufficient information and to have an idea of how to proceed. A lawyer should also inspire confidence through a challenging and often lengthy process that contains many moving parts. The lawyer should communicate key things to you, such as his or her fee schedule, the kind of approach that should be taken, and steps you need to take while the process is taking place.
Finding the right lawyer is half the battle when dealing with complex issues such as visas and immigration. Not only is there plenty of paperwork, but there are many subtleties that are often missed by those who lack experience dealing with this field of law. Look for a lawyer who has a degree from a well-regarded and accredited institution and who can provide examples of his or her experience and references. If the lawyer has been written up in the media because of a victory in a landmark case, that is all the more reason to want to hire them for a successful outcome to your case.