Hiring an immigration attorney can sometimes be a stressful, confusing, and downright confusing process. Before hiring an immigration lawyer, it's important to do your research. Check out as many attorneys as possible to see how they handle cases similar to yours. Some of the questions you should ask an immigration lawyer during the initial consultation are:
How long has the firm been in business? You need to know how long the firm has been in business, because if the attorney has only recently opened up shop, they may not have a lot of experience, so be wary of those firms.
What type of services are the attorney is going to provide? Asking this question will help you figure out if the firm specializes in different types of cases. It's also a good idea to ask whether they have any experience with your case. A firm that has dealt with several different kinds of cases in the past, will know what type of case it is.
How much will it cost? Depending on the type of case, it may be worth it to pay more for an immigration lawyer. If the immigration attorney is experienced, they can make up the cost of hiring them on their own. However, if you're going to hire an attorney for your case, you'll likely be paying a retainer. A retainer is usually based on a percentage of the attorney's fees, so the more experienced the attorney, the more you're going to be paying.
Will my case be handled by the same attorney? Some immigration attorneys handle a variety of immigration cases, but not all do, so be aware of who your attorney will be working with. Be sure to find out which attorney will be handling your case and if it's going to be the same person you'll be working with every time.
Be sure to bring all of these questions up during the initial consultation, because they are important to know. Some immigration lawyers work for themselves. If they don't mention this upfront, ask them if they have any prior clients and ask them what kind of work they are offering. You never know, you might be surprised at who you'll end up working with and what kind of case they will be handling.
Another great tip to remember about getting an immigration attorney is to ask for a written estimate of your case after the initial consultation. You should always be able to get one and if they don't include all the information you requested, you may want to move on.
The last thing to remember is to make sure that the immigration attorney is a member of your local Bar Association. This is a legal requirement for all states and can help make sure that the lawyer you choose has a reputation for ethical practices and quality legal work.