What To Look For In An Immigration Attorney

May 24, 2005

Reputation: Know the immigration attorney’s reputation. Most State Bars (the agencies that license and regulate attorneys) have web sites that are available to the public. Consider looking up the attorney’s name in the State Bar’s web site to check if the attorney has a discipline record, if any. An immigration attorney should also be a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which only
accepts members in good standing. You may also want to “google” the attorney’s name to see what others are saying about the attorney you are considering to hire.

Immigration Law Practice Focus: Immigration law is complex and many times completely foreign to most people. It is not only based on complicated statues and regulations, but on government policies and case law that are constantly changing. Becoming a knowledgeable immigration attorney is a daily practice. Be careful of attorneys who specialize in too many areas as it is difficult to stay updated on immigration law if you do not have the time to learn about new laws, regulations and policies.

Length of Practice: How long has the immigration attorney been
practicing immigration law? Don’t be afraid to ask the immigration attorney you are about to invest in about her experience in immigration law. Know your immigration attorney’s resume. Has the immigration attorney worked for reputable firms in the past? Any experience in government service? I would not want a new surgeon operating on me, why should you want a new attorney handling your important immigration case?

Common Sense: If it sounds too good to be true, be careful. If an attorney promises you the moon and stars and a green card in one week, run for the exit door immediately. Unless the attorney has a reliable crystal ball, an attorney is unable to guarantee you a successful result. The only guarantee should be her best efforts and commitment to your immigration case.

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