Legal issues pertaining to immigration are not always straightforward and are most effectively handled by a professional immigration lawyer. When it comes to finding and securing the services of an immigration law firm New York clients must be sure they carefully look into the background of each candidate in order to find the most qualified one.
Whenever possible, it’s good to get a recommendation from someone whom one knows, or one can also search online for suitable law firms which have handled similar types of cases in the past and had positive outcomes in most incidences. Consulting either a bar association or the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) can also result in a referral to someone.
Then the client should call several firms and ask a few questions just to determine if they able to take on the case or not. Those which seem like potential candidates are the ones the client should set up appointments with to meet in person and discuss the case. This first consultation may be free, but not always so one must clarify this with the firm.
The consultation should serve as both an opportunity for the attorney to explain his or her strategy for handling the case, and what the likely outcome will be, as well as a chance for the client to ask any question he or she may have. The lawyer should be patient and easy to understand, not rushed or vague.
The client may also be wise to verify that the lawyer will personally be handling the case. Some firms delegate cases to junior partners or paralegals who may very well be able to handle it well, but if the client is agreeing to hire a particular lawyer and is paying for his or her services, this person should be the one doing the work.
Sometimes paying a higher fee will buy a more first-rate service, but not always. Just the same, an initially low price may become surprisingly larger throughout the course of the case as additional fees may be added on. Some attorneys charge an hourly rate, known as a retainer, or they may also charge a flat rate. The agreement should clearly indicate the total fee and terms of payment.
When the client is sure he or she feels comfortable with the lawyer’s manner, and the fee is reasonable as well, it is then necessary to confirm his or her credentials. The state bar association will be able to provide this information and verify that he or she is licensed to practice law and is in good standing.
While not essential to this decision, the client may also want to consider which law school the lawyer graduated from, and whether or not he or she has ever authored any publications. They don’t ensure top-rate service, but they do indicate some degree of training and accomplishment which may be beneficial. Finally, when choosing an immigration law firm New York clients should be certain that the professional they hire truly has an interest in their case.