With the abundance of attorneys and legal professionals, it can be a difficult choice to hire someone for your case. Because the consequences of losing your immigration case may be that you are forced to return to your home country, here are a few questions to consider when hiring your immigration attorney.
Is the attorney licensed to practice law? Many people seek out the help of notarios or even paralegals to save money. But, only licensed attorneys are authorized to practice law and able give you legal advice. Often, those who hire notarios and paralegals end up hiring an attorney to fix mistakes in the case, which means they wasted time and money.
Make sure the attorney you hire is licensed and able to practice law in the jurisdiction where the case will take place. Any licensed attorney will be happy to show their credentials and bar license information.
Do I need an immigration attorney to fill out immigration forms? Although petitions for immigration benefits are form-based, most applications also require lengthy evidence packages and legal arguments to support your requests. Without the help of a licensed attorney, you may not know what type of evidence is necessary in your particular case. Immigration laws and regulations are lengthy, complex and constantly changing. You need someone who can interpret the law correctly, apply it to your specific circumstances, and be able to advocate on your behalf.
Does the attorney have experience in immigration? Licensed attorneys can practice multiple areas of law and some firms often specialize in multiple areas. Make sure the attorney you hire is knowledgeable in immigration law and the specific type of service you need. If your case involves a criminal matter along with immigration, it's important your attorney understands both areas of law. You should be able to ask many questions about your case, and the attorney should be able to explain to you what to expect at each stage of your case.
Does the attorney offer convenient payment plans? Most immigration attorneys will offer payment plans, but will require you complete all payments before the applications are submitted to the government, or before an interview or final hearing. Make sure you are able to pay your attorney on time so that your case is not paused for non-payment. Most attorneys are happy to work out a solution to help you make timely payments.
Do I need a consultation? Yes, a consultation is where you will be able to talk to the attorney for about an hour to discuss your case. The consultation will help you determine if that lawyer is the right fit for you and what you need. You can also find local events and legal clinics as #AbogadaVilerka and other immigration attorneys participate locally with other organizations in Jacksonville to provide free consultations during limited scheduled events.