Why Hire an Immigration Attorney?
Hi, I’m Shannon Salmon-Haas of Salmon & Haas Law Firm. Today we’re going to talk about why it’s beneficial to hire an immigration lawyer, as well as what characteristics you should look for in an attorney.
When many people begin the immigration process, they may wonder why they should hire a lawyer and not just handle it themselves. Well, there are several advantages to hiring an immigration attorney to help you.
Immigration law can be unpredictable and unforgiving. It’s easy to make mistakes that cannot be easily corrected, and unfortunately some mistakes can be irreversible. For example, if an immigration officer or judge determines you are committing fraud or making false representations, you could be permanently barred from any immigration benefit in the future.
You could miss opportunities to improve your status, because a number of immigration programs are not commonly known. You could be eligible for a program or benefit that you’re not aware of. An experienced immigration lawyer will be familiar with all these programs. Your case is too important to entrust to amateurs. Immigration law affects the things that are most important to us such as our family, having work, and living in a safe place. An immigration case that succeeds or fails can affect the rest of your life and the lives of those you love. For this reason it’s essential to entrust your case to professionals who’ve developed an expertise in the field.
So how do you know whether or not you found a good immigration lawyer? Well to start, a good attorney would see you as a person, not as a pay check or a number. He or she will take the time to listen to you and thoroughly review the details of your case. Some lawyers may be experienced, but would hand off your case to a paralegal or associate without much experience. They can be hard to reach on the phone or in other ways. Your lawyer should be accessible, and you should feel comfortable working with them. You want to know that they truly care about your case.
It’s also a good idea to hire an attorney who has a specialization in this area. Immigration law is too complex to work with someone who does not specialize in it. An experienced immigration lawyer will understand the nuances in the law and how any changes may affect your personal circumstances. Think of it this way, if you needed heart surgery, you wouldn’t go to a dermatologist. You’d seek treatment from a cardiologist who specializes in heart health. Choosing a lawyer is the same way.
Lastly, consider how much they’re charging you. Most immigration lawyers will charge a flat fee rather than an hourly rate. So you know at the beginning what you will have to pay. Also, most immigration lawyers will accept payments rather than expecting all the money up front. You want to lawyer to be clear on the fees, what is covered, and to have a written contract.
I hope this video has helped you understand the benefits of hiring a skilled immigration attorney. At the end of the day, in addition to building a strong defense, your attorney is there to be a resource and an advocate for you. Hiring an immigration lawyer can help you thoughtfully plan your next steps as you move through this process. To learn more about how Salmon & Haas can represent you, contact us today for a free consultation.