Finding a Good Immigration Lawyer in Jersey City: 6 Steps

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( — October 31, 2022) — Immigrating to the United States can be complicated and arduous. Moreover, even when you have all the required paperwork, you might face immigration-related issues or even lack the confidence to perform the process yourself. 

When such cases occur, hiring an immigration attorney who provides legal counsel becomes essential. For example, if you live in Jersey City, getting a knowledgeable and professional Jersey City immigration lawyer can be extremely beneficial. But how do you find an excellent immigration attorney?

Read on to find tips and methods for finding a good immigration attorney during your selection and assessment process.

1. Perform a thorough research 

When finding an immigration attorney, you have to choose wisely. Unfortunately, some lawyers might not have the experience needed for your specific immigration hurdles or have the time to handle your case properly since they are shuffling between different cases. Also, some may have bad intentions and, if they charge on an hourly basis, want to make more money from their current clients.

When searching for a lawyer, ensure you evaluate your chosen ones properly. It helps if you aren’t afraid of spending money to get a quality attorney. Hiring an excellent attorney is better than spending time getting delayed or even rejected.

2. Check the lawyer’s practice focus

When finding a good immigration attorney for your case, you must consider the lawyer’s area of practice. Immigration law has several subspecialties, like asylum, deportation, family, employment, and so on. 

Hence, it’s in your best interest to choose an attorney with a strong understanding of your specific type of case.

Be mindful of lawyers who are not exclusively immigration attorneys. While some attorneys might be excellent immigration lawyers capable in practice fields, you should be careful of those who list immigration law as part of their claimed specialties. 

Also, you can check to be sure that your chosen attorney is part of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). This is where lawyers can receive updates on immigration law. Though being a member of this organization doesn’t represent quality, it shows that the attorney tries to keep themselves updated with laws that often change and are amended.

3. Check their experience 

What is an immigration attorney without years of experience? Of course, the number of years an attorney has under their belt is a factor in choosing an attorney. A significant part of immigration law is in practice, shaping an attorney’s instincts. 

Consider also a lawyer’s Board Certification. Some states certify lawyers who practice immigration law. If your chosen attorney practices in such a state, then ensure you check that they have this credential. This might not guarantee the quality, but it’s an excellent indicator. 

You can also vet the educational background of an immigration attorney—however, there can be good and bad attorneys that emerge from common law schools. With the internet, you can source information. You can also find out where they went to school, awards they’ve received, their publications in journals, and other activities they’ve engaged in that might benefit your case.

4. Interview several lawyers

When deciding on immigration attorneys, you may have to interview several of them. Immigration attorneys can be very busy but might be able to spare time for a consultation when requested. 

Some attorneys might charge for an initial consultation due to many requests, while some offer free consultations.

You should interview at least two attorneys in person before making a decision. This allows you to properly evaluate their manner of communication, legal expertise, and working surroundings. 

You can consider things like if they speak your language during the interview, their office environment organization, and how familiar they are with the requirements needed to handle your case. Think also about if they’re specialized, and what their guarantee is of your application being successfully approved.

These factors will help you find the right immigration attorney to work with.

5. Negotiate fees

Most immigration attorneys or firms usually charge based on an hourly rate. But some have a fixed rate for standard case filing and preparation. 

Choosing a fixed rate is often the better option, but you can also require them to estimate how much it will cost for their time so you know their total service cost. 

6. Confidentiality and patience

A good immigration attorney should maintain confidentiality when dealing with any case. Even during the consultation, they should mention that there’s a confidentiality agreement needed in writing or verbally. 

It helps if you can also find an attorney who communicates clearly since it will be a significant part of your relationship with the attorney. Ensure that communication is transparent, honest, and open. 

Final words

A good immigration attorney is well-equipped to help you through your case, while a lousy one can cost you money. In some cases, it might not be easy to distinguish a good immigration attorney from a bad one. 

When you are in a situation where you’re in need of assistance from an immigration attorney and don’t know how to find one, keep the tips mentioned above in mind.