Even if it is not a frequent thing, there will come a time in your life when you will need to hire a lawyer for court representation, legal advice, filing, and/or other services.
Besides, whether you need immigration legal help individually, or on behalf of your business, one thing is for sure: you should select the right attorney for the best possible outcome. The truth, however, is that selecting the right immigration law office in Chicago, IL and elsewhere can be a difficult process.
To make things easier for you, here are the top factors to consider when hiring a Chicago immigration attorney. Let’s get started.
1. Do You Have Faith in That Lawyer?
The most crucial component of an attorney-client relationship is trust. You should feel comfortable disclosing very personal information to your lawyer.
This will help them to represent you properly. If you don’t trust a lawyer after speaking with or meeting with them, trust your intuition and continue searching for another one.
2. Is the Lawyer Solely Dedicated to Immigration Law?
Any licensed lawyer can represent you in your immigration case. Even so, immigration law is extraordinarily complex and constantly changing.
There will always be attorneys dabbling in immigration law – attorneys who do not regularly take on immigration cases or are otherwise not dedicated to this complicated area of the law. By choosing this brand of lawyer you will likely not get the best value for your money.
You should make sure to choose the best immigration attorney in Chicago who has experience solving immigration issues, and even better, a lawyer with specific experience solving your particular immigration problem. This is similar to how you would opt to see a doctor who deals exclusively with your medical problem as opposed to a general practitioner.
It seems our society is never far away from seeing significant legislative changes on the immigration law horizon. In this case, lawyers who seldom or never practiced immigration law seem to emerge from the woodwork, so be cautious.
3. Check if the Chicago Immigration Attorney Is a Member of Any Professional Association
You may learn a lot about your attorney online. You will know if they are licensed by a state regulatory agency (which is required). You can also know if they are members of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA).
This is the world’s leading professional organization for immigration attorneys in the USA. To start practicing immigration law, a lawyer does not need to be a member of AILA. But AILA assists its members in staying up to date on best practices and regular law changes.
Being an AILA member also demonstrates that the lawyer is dedicated in a meaningful way to immigration law, and it is otherwise a crucial aspect of their practice.
Check if they have good reviews on websites like Martindale, and if the attorney has composed professional articles for publications.
You can easily decide to avoid a personal meeting if the only reviews show the attorney being disbarred or arrested.
4. Consider the Cost When Hiring a Lawyer
Many lawyers will charge an hourly fee or a flat fee. Check what other charges you may have to pay, such as government filing fees.
Even so, don’t just go with the cheapest immigration lawyer Chicago you will locate. Lawyers who give a very low fee compared to other qualified attorneys frequently underrate what should be done.
Also, they underestimate the amount of time it would take to achieve a successful outcome for the client. You will also likely not receive the attention you are entitled if you are undercharged and hold no special place on an assembly line, volume-based practice.
5. Consult More Than One Lawyer to Compare Their Advice
You ought to speak with lawyers and their office staff to understand their dedication to clients. You will also note their general attitude and assumption of honesty.
But many good immigration lawyers are likely to be very busy.
Speaking with several attorneys will provide you with a point of comparison before deciding on the lawyer who will represent you. It will allow you to get a sense of their character and personal philosophy. This will allow you to establish who will be a perfect match for you.
In some cases, seeking a second viewpoint may reveal that your first lawyer did not fully comprehend your case or the law. Also, you can geta sense that perhaps they were attempting to use your money to do something inconceivable or unethical. On the other hand, it may also verify that you are on the right track.
Thus, it’s an easy best practice to consult different lawyers to get the best immigration lawyer in Chicago.
6. Ensure You Are Only Dealing With a Chicago Immigration Attorney
Can you request your doctor to file your tax returns or your neighbor to treat your heart valve?
Let’s hope not. For similar reasons, you must only entrust your immigration issues to a real, practicing attorney.
Sadly, there is no shortage of non-lawyers asserting their capability of helping foreign nationals who require assistance with the immigration process. Some of these non-lawyers are even well-meaning ones, but are genuinely unaware of how complicated immigration law can be.
In many instances, they provide little more than a typing service. In the worst-case scenario, they may take your cash and run. Also, they may fill out your forms incorrectly and dangerously, without revealing to you what is happening.
7. Avoid Lawyers Who Offer Unethical Advice
Be wary of any immigration lawyer who advises you to do something unethical. For instance, they can tell you to lie to a USCIS officer or on an application. Further, stay away from any lawyer seeking extra cash to bribe an immigration authority or purchase a counterfeit green card or other immigration document from them.
Such incidents have occurred. The unfortunate reality is that if you are caught participating in such a plan, you might find yourself subject to the same or worse consequences the crooked lawyer is facing.
A statement like, “And yet he informed me that purchasing this green card stamp was the quickest way to work in the United States!” This is unlikely to get you anywhere. It will leave a permanent mark on your immigration file.
This will also possibly disqualify you from eligibility for subsequent visas or green cards (inadmissible).
It’s Now Your Time to Choose the Best Immigration Law Firm Chicago
You will be able to get the right Chicago immigration attorney who you can trust to work on your case if you follow the steps outlined above. Hire a great lawyer who is deeply familiar with the requirements at play in your particular case.
Dealing with immigration issues can be time-consuming, but it will be worthwhile in the end.
Are you searching for the perfect immigration law firm in Chicago?
At the Law Offices of Richard Hanus, we believe that every step in the immigration process is critical. Thus, we approach each case with creative thinking, sensitivity, and diligence.
Contact us today to book an appointment.
PUBLISHED February 6, 2022– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2022, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois