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How Do I Find A Good Immigration Lawyer?
Finding a good lawyer is one of the most important things you can do for yourself if you're looking for help with immigration issued. As in any other field of law, a good immigration lawyer who knows the ropes and understands every aspect of immigration law is imperative to winning your case, filing your papers, or any other action you pursue.
However, immigration lawyers are not created equal. There are some who excel and others who are terrible and everything in between. The most important thing to think about before you begin your research is whether or not they specialize in their field.
This is important, as an immigration lawyer who specializes in amnesty law may not be the best person to choose for deportation matters, and vice versa. They should have direct experience in their sector of immigration law. Of course, many immigration lawyers have several specialties, so just make sure that, above all, they have experience with cases similar to yours (as well as decent results).
Another thing to check for is background. You can find out what school they applied to, where they took their bar exam, what professional associations they belong to and much more. This is especially important in knowing who is a professional with the license to help you and who just wants your money.
Make sure the immigration lawyer you choose belongs to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). While this isn't the only indicator of a lawyer's worth, anyone with legitimate credentials who pays a fee can get in. This weeds out the real fakes and allows you to narrow down your list and focus on reputations.
Reputations, reputations, reputations. This can't be stressed enough. If a lawyer has been in the news a lot for positive cases, serves as a source for newspapers or anything similar, you can bet they're pretty good at what they do.
References and a successful track record are a must. If you can, get your hands on some references and do some research online. Forums, chat rooms and the like are great places to find valuable information about the lawyer you're looking into. The internet is a powerful tool and is one of your best friends when looking for a good immigration lawyer.
Remember: knowledge is power. Ask lots of questions and don't be afraid to grill your potential lawyer. You're the client, and have every right to know if your lawyer knows their stuff. Come prepared knowing a little about immigration law, or at least the basics, and an understanding of the services you need for yourself. For example, if you're dealing with deportation, look up US deportation laws and familiarize yourself with them enough that you understand what your lawyer's saying.
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