Seven Tips for Choosing an Immigration Law Firm
It can be hard to choose the right Immigration Law Firm firm for you. However, it is worth it. Where do you begin? What are the key factors to consider? What are the key factors to identifying a high-quality firm?
Consider the following objective factors when deciding which law firm to retain. We are certain that the American Visa Law Group will be an excellent choice based on the criteria, but you have to make sure you make informed decisions.
1) Read the reviews
First, make sure you are evaluating the quality of the reviews and not just how many there are. You should check to make sure that the majority of reviews are from satisfied clients who have had only a consultation or handled very basic casework. While you can find reviews that claim they are the best California immigration lawyer, it is not likely to be a review of a simple sibling petition. Look for reviews by people who can clearly explain why the firm handled a complex case that was rejected or abandoned elsewhere. For obvious reasons, it’s a sign that there are positive reviews. Five positive, high-quality reviews are worth more than fifty negative reviews. We invite you to look through the reviews that we have received on various platforms such as Yelp and Google. These ratings give us the distinction of having a high average rating on all platforms in Northern California. We have at least 40 reviews each on each platform.
2) The amount of experience
An attorney can attain a level where they are considered to be an authority in their field after about a decade of practice. You should question the ability of the firm’s lead attorney to have less than a decade experience. This could be detrimental to your case. The founder of American Visa Law Group, with over 12 years of experience and more than a decade of leadership experience within the field of immigration law has the experience necessary to ensure that your case is handled efficiently.
3) Types of Experience Immigration Law Firm
The following sub-specialties can be divided into immigration law practice: employment-based immigration, deportation defense/appellate, and miscellaneous. It is difficult and rare to have a high level proficiency in all areas of immigration law. Our firm specializes in miscellaneous immigration work, such as family sponsorship, inadmissibility waivers, affirmative asylum and VAWA, U visas, etc. Employment-based immigration. Clients are referred to us for deportation defense, circuit courts appeals, and crimmigration (where complicated criminal law issues must be addressed in order to avoid removal or impossibility). It’s dangerous to work with immigration firms that take on multiple types of cases. This is a sign you are not a master of all things and may expose yourself to ineffective counsel.
Quality comes with a price. If you do not get a quote, you can find a cheaper price if you really look. As long as you don’t get charged excessively, it is important to understand that you need the best legal services possible. For your convenience, the American Visa Law Group’s attorney fees are clearly displayed on our website. Although the rates are not the most affordable, they are still relatively affordable when compared to experienced firms. Be aware that some firms charge higher rates than normal to unsuspecting clients. Our rates are based on market research as well as the overhead costs that we reasonably incur. While we can assure you of fair rates, we encourage you to get quotes from other companies that meet the criteria. Don’t let your ignorance fool you.
5) Language and Culture
Clients who are seeking to immigrate make the biggest mistake of choosing an attorney solely because they have an attorney or lawyers who speak their language. This can be a problem if the firm you work for does not have an interpreter or someone who speaks your language. This is usually not true in most cases. While it is understandable that you may feel more comfortable communicating in your native language than in English, this should not be the only factor that is considered.
6) Firm Morale
This is the most important factor. However, you should also inquire about what former employees think of the company. This information may not always be available, but it will give you an idea of how your case will be handled. The quality of work will reflect a company with high turnover, poorly treated staff, and toxic work environments. Glassdoor allows you to view employee reviews. You should be cautious if the positive reviews are mainly from current employees and not former employees. These reviews are more likely to be written by coercion and may not accurately reflect the situation.
7) Firm Structure
Are you a sole practitioner firm with only one attorney, or a large firm with many attorneys? Or something in between. It will be somewhere in the middle. Firms with one attorney managing the case will have limited knowledge and perspectives. Even if an attorney has a lot of experience, he or she can still benefit from having at least one other lawyer to share his/her ideas with. A firm with only one attorney, and all the rest being legal assistance/paralegals, may have more attorneys than a larger firm. This is because the attorney will be more overwhelmed by the many responsibilities. The other is the large firm that has many attorneys. These firms have the disadvantage of not having the personal touch of a small firm. You’ll likely feel like you’re just another number. A boutique immigration firm would be the best option. It would have a group of experienced attorneys and lawyers working together to provide the best possible service for clients. You have the best chance of getting personal attention and a low risk of mistakes or an incorrect case strategy.
Locating reliable legal assistance
Organizations that serve immigrants can provide free or low-cost legal assistance. These legal aid agencies are partially funded by the State Bar of
To find an attorney in your local area, use a lawyer referral service. Many of these services are available in multiple languages.
Here is a list with California’s rapid response numbers if you require immediate assistance in an immigration raid. (Source: OneJustice)
It doesn’t matter if you are hiring an attorney or a lawyer consultant. You need to be aware of your rights and how you can protect yourself.
Problems with lawyer fees
Talking to your lawyer about resolving a problem
A notario or an immigration consultant can help you avoid fraud
- Pamphle Are You a Victim Of Notario Fraud or Nonattorney Fraud? Spanish
- Check the State Bar to verify a lawyer’s licence.
- The State Bar has a list of people who received cease-and-desist notices recently. These notices warn nonattorneys about possible violations of the law.
Learn more about immigration consultants
How to file a State Bar complaint
You should file a complaint with State Bar if you believe someone is promising or providing immigration legal services. To file a complaint, there is no cost and you don’t have to be a U.S. Citizen to do so. The State Bar doesn’t ask about or track your citizenship or immigration status.
The State Bar investigates misconduct complaints against licensed attorneys in California, as well as complaints against nonattorneys who practice law without a license (also called UPL).
1) Filing a complaint against an attorney for misconduct
2) Filing a complaint against unauthorized practice of law by a non-attorney (UPL).
There are many other websites that offer assistance to immigrants
Immigration Resource Directory: A multilingual directory of immigration resources from the California Courts. En Espanol: Recursos de inmigracion.
LawHelpCA.org provides free legal information that can help you with a wide range of legal issues immigrant may be facing.
Publications of the Office of Immigrant Immigration Law Firm Assistance: Information from California’s Office of the Attorney General, including the publication “Immigration Services Fraud – Know Your Rights!” In English, Chinese and Korean.
California Immigrants Guide: Updates, multilingual information and links to legal services and information about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
California Rural Legal Assistance – Services and programs for low-income rural residents, including immigrants.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights CHIRLA: Information for immigrants in English, Spanish Korean, Korean, and Chinese with questions about their rights.
Los Angeles County Office of Immigration Affairs: Multilingual information about fraud detection, consumer rights, and how to report legal fraud.
California Department of Social Services finances organizations that provide free legal services and information to immigrants.
Multilingual information from Federal Trade Commission (FTC), for immigrants, about how to avoid scams.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association maintains a list of state and federal laws that govern the illegal practice of law.
The American Bar Association developed case law and training materials as part of its Fight Notario Fraud campaign. Lucha contra el Fraude Notarial is also available in Spanish.
U.S. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services brochures and posters in 25 different languages, which deal with immigration topics including how to avoid being scammed.