13 Tips When Choosing An Immigration Law Firm

Going through the immigration process can be taxing. Suppose you’re processing your visa or permanent residency in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In that case, you’ll likely need a local immigration lawyer to help you out.

Finding any lawyer to help you isn’t the problem—finding the right immigration lawyer in Elizabeth, New Jersey can be a bit more challenging, especially if this is the first time you’ll be hiring one, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Choosing a quality immigration law firm will get you closer to finding the right lawyer to help you. But how do you measure which law firm can help your case?

Tips for choosing an immigration law firm

While you might be eager to find an immigration lawyer to help you out quickly, not all immigration lawyers are ideal. This person will be helping you out with important matters, so you should be careful in your selection.

Here are a few tips to guide you.

1.Check for reviews

Reviews, most times, don’t lie. You should look and check for reviews if you have an immigration law firm in mind.

When browsing through their online reviews, you may find generic reviews, though it’s important to check for specific ones talking about how they handled cases similar to yours.

2.Consider experience

Experience is key for most professions. You’ll want to hire a law firm that’s been in business for a long period of time. An immigration law firm that has existed for over a decade has more likely handled more immigration-related cases compared to one that’s existed for just a year or two.

Of course, you’ll have to check their credibility through research

3.Choose quality

You shouldn’t blindly hire an immigration lawyer out of desperation or urgency, or because their fees are low. It’s better to hire a high-quality immigration law firm to help you. While they might be the more expensive alternative, you’ll realize they’re worth it in the end.

4.Ask for referral

Another way to choose the right immigration law firm is to ask for referrals. Make use of your network and ask acquaintances for trusted immigration law firms they might know. You may get lucky. Word of mouth referrals are, after all, powerful and very useful.

5.Consult with more than one firm

Don’t limit your search to just one immigration law firm. You should shortlist a few law firms based on referrals and online research and reach out to them.

You can schedule quick phone calls with them or an interview to speak with them about your needs and how they can help you. Before meeting with them, make necessary preparations so you can present your case and ensure the discussion goes smoothly. During the meeting, ask them about their experiences to gauge their expertise.

6.Don’t hire a general practitioner

Avoid hiring a general legal practitioner. They may lack deep knowledge about immigration laws and be unable to help you.

Furthermore, they may not be up-to-date with immigration matters or laws. Instead, choose an immigration law firm that deals majorly with immigration issues.

7.Confirm credentials

When you decide which immigration law firm to choose, ensure you confirm their credentials. Confirm whether they’re real and check different sources to verify their credentials. 

Reach out to the state bar where the law firm operates and search their database for information about their records. In addition, search the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) website.

8.Negotiate fees

Before entering a contract with an immigration law firm, you should negotiate fees. Discuss what exactly you’ll be paying for and how payment will be arranged. 

It’s vital to know the fees you’ll need to pay upfront and establish what both parties should expect from each other. Check whether they charge a flat or hourly rate and if additional fees will be incurred from the process.

9.Use technology

You should also look for a firm comfortable using technology instead of doing too much physical paperwork. This allows you to manage paperwork more seamlessly, saving time, money, and the hassle of snail mail.

10.Ensure you’re comfortable

Your comfort is key when choosing a law firm. While consulting, pay attention to whether you’re feeling comfortable and confident in their ability to represent you. You’ll likely want to choose a law firm with an immigration lawyer that speaks your native language. This will make communication easier.

11.Be wary of unrealistic promises

You should be wary of unrealistic promises when consulting. A firm that assures you that your case will be easy and whatnot may be inexperienced. They should, instead, set you up with realistic expectations.

12.Get a written contract

Ensure you get a written contract before proceeding with the law firm. This provides a kind of guarantee that you’re covered. 

The contract should highlight what’s expected from their end, fees, and processes. That way, you can be sure that you’ll get what you paid for and that the firm will deliver.

13.Check their work ethic

You should also check the firm’s work ethic. Examine their relationship with their staff and what their morale is like. 

You may even choose to speak with their former employees. You don’t want to work with a firm with a toxic environment, because it’ll reflect in their work quality.

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You may view choosing an immigration firm as tedious work, but it’s a necessary process that you shouldn’t skip. Being thorough will prevent you from choosing inexperienced law firms.