Immigration is definitely a topic that has seen a lot of press in recent years due to the large influx of illegal immigrants into various states. If you need to find a good immigration lawyer, for whatever reason, where do you begin to look? Here are some suggestions.
Look for referrals
First of all, like anything else important, if your family and friends can help you, so much the better. Nothing beats a good recommendation when it comes to choosing an attorney because you can be assured that the positive word is coming from someone you know and trust. If your neighbor has had a good experience with someone specific, it’s worth checking out. Be careful with recommendations from third parties, however. If someone only “heard” that someone is good, that’s a place to start but it shouldn’t be the only way you come to a decision.
The internet has all but replaced the yellow pages when people need to find a pool of possible lawyers from which to pick. The best way to use this tool is to use a search engine to find websites for immigration attorneys in your immediate area. For example, if you live in Los Angeles, you’ll want to enter “immigration lawyer Los Angeles” and see what pops up. You will no doubt be overwhelmed with possibilities.
While going through the list, narrow your search by choosing ONLY those who specialize in immigration law. An attorney who only does immigration issues “on the side” will not have the experience and up to date knowledge that you need. Another way to narrow the search is to look for the letters for example “_ILA” on the website. These letters stand for the Immigration Lawyers Association, and if the attorney is a member, then you can be assured that handling immigration cases is his area of focus.
While on the internet, don’t be fooled by so-called “professionals” who are not in the legal profession at all. These types of individuals may try to make themselves look like lawyers in their websites, but they really aren’t. They may claim to be able to offer you a “quick fix” for your immigration issues or problems, but if their assertions seem too good to be true, they probably are. Please be careful. There are disreputable schemers out there who prey on those who fear being deported: don’t fall for their claims.
Make sure you choose an attorney with whom you will feel comfortable; after all, you will be spending a lot of time together. Does the lawyer you chose return your phone calls promptly? Is his staff friendly and courteous and treat you with respect? If your English is poor, is there someone in his office who can converse with you in your native tongue?
It’s your life and it’s your decision. When choosing the immigration attorney who will help you, take your time and select carefully.