Ask These 10 Questions Before Hiring An Immigration Lawyer
Immigration law governs the phenomenon of immigration and deportation to a county. It is complex and is constantly changing according to the political climate of a country. Finding the right immigration lawyer can be a frustrating experience. Here are some questions you should ask the lawyer before you decide to hire him.
1. How long have you practiced immigration law?
An experienced lawyer is preferred to a newly practicing or an infrequently practicing lawyer. Your lawyer should know the law well and should also be well-versed in the process involved in dealing with your case. However, more experienced lawyers will also be more expensive. You should hire the best lawyer you can afford. Also, your lawyer should preferably be actively working on immigration cases, even if he is licensed to work in other areas of the law.
2. Have you faced a similar case before?
Your lawyer should have dealt with cases like yours before. It is better if the lawyer has a history of success in similar cases. It helps save you time and money if your lawyer knows exactly what he is doing. Some lawyers specialize in the different areas of immigration law such as work visas, deportations, dependent visas, and so on. Hence, you should look for someone who has worked with cases in your specialty. If your lawyer is not familiar with your case, you should ask detailed questions about the steps heis going to take, and why hefeels confident taking up the case.
3. What will be the mode of communication and who will be the point of contact?
Many legal establishments continue to depend on postal mail, which is quite slow compared to the other modes of communication available today. You can choose to communicate via e-mail or your cell phone to keep yourself updated on your lawyer’s progress.
Your lawyer may not be solely working on your case. In this case, you should ask who your point of contact will be and how that person intends to keep communication lines open with you. It is best to actively solicit information so that no time is lost in misunderstandings and communication gaps.
Mode of Communication is very important and If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to hire an interpreter or translator for your case. This will help your understanding between the lawyer and your issues.
4. Can you provide me with references of former clients?
You should not hesitate to ask your lawyer for references of former clients hehas worked with on successful cases. Building trust is important and you should feel confident about your lawyer’s ability to bring about a positive outcome.
5. What is your rate and what is the estimated total cost?
Lawyers may charge two types of fees—a flat fee or an hourly fee. You should ask for an estimate of how much the entire service will cost, and what mode of payment is preferred by the lawyer. You can also ask for a break-up of the cost of hisservices. Also, asking the lawyer about potentially additional costs is a good idea.
6. What are the chances of a positive outcome in my case?
If your lawyer has experience with cases like yours, hewill be able to outline the approach to be taken and the most likely outcome. Beware of lawyers who guarantee 100% success since they are most probably not trustworthy.
7. How can I improve my chances of success?
Ask your lawyer how you can help him to improve your chances of a positive outcome. Ensure that your documents are available and your information is accurate.
As success is unpredictable, they do not guarantee whether we will win or not.
8. Who will actually represent me?
A legal establishment will have several lawyers working for them. Ask the lawyer you are meeting whether he will represent you, or will you be assigned a different lawyer. Gather as much information as you can about the person who will actually represent you.
9. Who will be working on the cases besides you?
Don’ expect that the lawyer you meet with will be the one doing most of the work on your case. Apart from the lawyer himself, several other support staff will be also involved in your case. It may help you in the future to know who will be assisting your lawyer and your case.
10. How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
Your lawyer may not be able to give you an exact timeline within which your case will be resolved since it is dependent on the working of the government. However, he may be able to give you an estimate of the time usually taken for cases like yours. The outcome is usually in the hands of an immigration officer or judge.
Alistair George is a blogger for Drug Attorney in Reno. He likes to blogging about legal issues related to Criminal Defense, Crime and Drug. Follow him on Google+.