Before making a final hiring decision, you’ll want to ask an immigration lawyer a series of questions to ensure you know what you’re going to get out of the deal. When interviewing your prospective attorney, here are the bare minimum ten questions you should ask an immigration lawyer, and why you should ask them.
How long have you been practicing in the immigration field of law?
Fancy diplomas are nice, but there’s no substitute for real-world experience. You need someone who knows both the law and the intricacies of the process; so, you should ask an immigration lawyer about how much experience they have.
Do you have any former clients I can speak with?
It’s good to know how other clients felt about working with your prospective lawyer, and if they had any concerns that were never addressed. If you ask an immigration lawyer about previous clients and the lawyer is unwilling to give you references, this is a red flag, and you should find another attorney.
What cases have you worked that are similar to mine?
While there may never be a case with the same circumstances, often there are some similarities. It’s best if your lawyer has successfully handled a similar case (or five!) before.
What are the next steps in the process?
You’ll want to understand what your lawyer plans to do next, and also get a feel for what the coming weeks will look like for you and your family. This can vary greatly depending on the complexity of your case, but if it seems like the answer is a little too short for comfort, you may want to consider someone else.
How good are my chances?
When you ask an immigration lawyer about your chances, an experienced attorney will have a firm grip on what’s to come and won’t make any promises that can’t be delivered. If your attorney is making it sound like they are guaranteeing victory, be very, very wary.
Is there anything I can do to help out my case?
You should want to be as helpful and responsive as possible in the weeks to come. If your lawyer requests documents or information, make it a priority to get them as soon as possible. Also, be honest; lying to your lawyer will only hurt your chances of success.
How long do you think it will take for my case to be decided?
Timetables can be a bit uncertain when it comes to working with the government. However, experienced attorneys should, at least, be able to tell you a rough approximation and how long each step is likely to take.
Will anyone else be working on my case?
This is important for two reasons. First, support staff and office help can be critical in getting things accomplished accurately and on time. Second, some firms won’t even let you meet a lawyer during the first interview. If the law firm sets you up with a paralegal on Day 1, it’s best to find another firm.
What’s the best way to get a hold of you?
Many lawyers still rely on snail mail, even in today’s modern age. If you prefer phone, email, or video conferencing, make it clear up front. Don’t leave until you have the contact info you need and an agreement on how you will be communicating with each other.
What is your billable rate, and what ballpark estimate can you give me on the cost?
This also includes inquiring about acceptable payment methods (debit, credit, or cashier’s check). When asking an immigration lawyer about cost, he or she should be willing to give you an estimate. Once you have a written estimate, dig into the details and see if there are any areas where you may be able to minimize costs.
Ask an Immigration Lawyer Today
Contact our team at Lee & Peynado Immigration Law Group now for more information.