When hiring your immigration attorney, there is no doubt that you want to hire the best immigration attorney in California, but this means knowing how to spot red flags as well as knowing what to look for in a good attorney. In the past, we have shared some great tips to help you to do this and today we’re back again with some more tips to help you with the hiring process.
Best Immigration Attorney in California: More Tips For Hiring Your Lawyer
Avoid “Ambulance Chasers” Or Attorneys Looking to Take Advantage of Those in Need
When we talk about “ambulance chasers” people most often think about personal injury lawyers, but there are “ambulance chasers” in every field of law. When it comes to immigration attorneys, ambulance chasers are often found hanging around at the USCIS office or other official immigration offices. These less reputable attorneys do this because they want to take advantage of immigrants in need of legal help and because they are in need of the business.
Reputable immigration attorneys do not loiter in this way for a couple of reasons. Firstly, reputable attorneys are busy serving their current clients and do not have the time to spend loitering in official government buildings. Secondly, a great immigration attorney does not take advantage of immigrants in need. Trustworthy immigration lawyers will allow you to decide for yourself whether you need an immigration attorney and which attorney is right for you, your budget and your needs.
Check Credentials to Ensure That An Attorney is an Attorney
When seeking legal representation you should always make sure that you are seeking advice from an attorney rather than another individual who wants to provide advice. It’s not uncommon for immigrants to consult with visa consultants, petition preparers, or “notarios” during the immigration process, but these individuals are not the same as qualified immigration attorneys. While these individuals may be able to offer basic advice, they do not have complete knowledge of the inner workings of the immigration system which can lead to a number of problems with your case. Additionally, the current state of immigration means that laws and regulations in regard to immigration are constantly changing. Immigration attorneys are required to be familiar with these changes in the law, however, the other individuals noted above are not required to stay on top of these changes. As a result, consulting with these other individuals can cause delays and even a denial in your immigration application process.
When choosing an immigration attorney ethical behavior is a crucial characteristic to screen for. Hiring an attorney who is less than ethical doesn’t just create complications for you and put your immigration status in jeopardy, but it also puts you at risk for legal consequences of breaking the law depending on the actions of your lawyer.
How do you screen for an ethical attorney? It can be difficult to determine just how ethical an attorney is before working with them one on one on your case, but there are some signs that you can look for that may tip you off. If you notice any of the following signs, we suggest passing over the attorney in question and looking for an attorney who is more moral in their actions.
- An attorney who recommends that you lie on your immigration application and paperwork.
- An attorney who suggests or makes reference to bribery as a means to advance your application status.
- An attorney who offers you the opportunity to purchase fake immigration documents.
- An attorney who makes promises in return for additional payment – for example, “for an extra $100, I can promise you that your application will be approved.”
- An attorney who makes unrealistic promises or assurances – for example, “I promise that I can get your application to the top of the pile of immigration applications.”
Look Out For Guarantees
This is partially covered by the last item in the list above, but it’s worth noting as it’s own point because it is so important.
When people offer us guarantees, no matter who they are, we can be tempted to accept what they are saying or offering because of the assurances that we associate with guarantees. It’s important to know, however, that just because someone guarantees something, it doesn’t mean that the thing that they are guaranteeing is going to happen. In fact, many people and professionals will guarantee something simply to get your business even when they know that what you are guaranteeing is not possible.
When dealing with immigration attorneys, for example, an attorney may guarantee you that they can get your immigration application approved within a week. The truth is that this is simply not possible. Currently, the average wait time to process an immigration application is 10 months and cutting that time down to one week is simply not possible.
If an attorney is making you promises and guarantees and they sound too good to be true, consult with another attorney for a second opinion so that you can compare their opinions. Also, take a moment to research the information that an attorney is guaranteeing or promising to see if you can find supporting or contradictory evidence. Never be afraid to do your own research.
Are You Looking For the Best Immigration Attorney in California?
If you’re looking for the best immigration attorney in California, Nelson and Associates can help! Just pick up the phone and give us a call today at 626-683-3451 to set up your consultation with our experienced immigration attorneys!