You hop online and search for the “best immigration lawyer near me”. The pages and pages of search results that stare back at you are overwhelming…how do you begin to know where to start filtering through all of these people? Well, today we are talking a little bit about some red flags that you might see online before you even meet with an attorney. If you see any of these red flags, we suggest that you avoid the attorney in question altogether.
Best Immigration Lawyer Near Me: Beware These Online Red Flags
EVERY reputable attorney these days should have a web presence AKA a website. In fact, in this day and age ANY business that doesn’t have a website is questionable, but particularly a service-based business like legal counsel.
Many lawyers today find new clients through their online presence, so it’s important to have a “main hub” where those new clients can find all of the information that they might be looking for. This “main hub” should be a clean, well-designed website that provides information on the attorney, the attorney’s qualifications, other attorneys/paralegals/staff who work at the office, and services that they offer. Additionally, these sites should offer a phone number where potential clients can contact attorneys with questions and make appointments.
A Really Bad Website
This may sound unfair because, after all, attorneys are not graphic designers or web designers. The thing is, however, that reputable attorneys understand the importance of representation and a website is an online representation of them and their company. It only makes sense, then, that that website should be professional and informative.
So, where does the border lie between a good website and a bad website? Here are some things to look for in a good website:
- It’s easy to navigate
- You can easily see the attorney’s qualifications
- You can easily find contact information for the attorney firm
- They don’t have advertisements for third party products or “click here to learn more” buttons that require you to purchase e-books etc.
Just keep in mind that while a very poor website can be an indication of an attorney you should avoid, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a good website means a good attorney!
Find the attorney that you are considering hiring and read their reviews on reputable attorney review websites. We’re not talking about websites like YELP! here, we’re talking about legal-specific review sites like AVVO.com, FindLaw.com, and Lawyers.com.
Keep in mind that it’s not unusual for attorneys to have one or two less than positive reviews – in fact, if an attorney has all five-star reviews it may be time to question something – but if an attorney has all negative reviews, it’s worth swerving that individual.
They’re an Unknown to the Places That Matter
Any attorney who is licensed to practice law will be listed with the American Bar Association. They will also likely be involved in niche-specific organizations, for example, the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
If you aren’t sure where to start looking for information on your attorney, we recommend looking over the profile information that the attorney has provided on their website. Do they list professional memberships or affiliations? If so, follow up with these organizations to make sure that the attorney is, in fact, a member of them.
If you are unable to find information about your potential attorney from reputable sources, we recommend sidestepping that individual and finding an attorney who is recognized in their industry.
Social media sites can be tricky since there is isn’t always a regulation in place pertaining to who can share what and where it can be shared. It is worth checking social media accounts for attorneys who you are considering, though, because it can give you a lot of information about the attorney themselves. Here are a few things to look for:
- Do they or their office staff respond to comments and questions posed to them via social media? If they do, how do they respond, do they sound friendly or judgmental?
- If you come across a personal social media page for an attorney you are considering hiring, take a moment to scan through the information that they have shared or liked on their profile. Does any of this information indicate that your attorney is not the same person that they are portraying on their website? For example, is their personal Facebook page filled with hate speech? (This does not happen often, but it’s worth looking into to get a better idea of who you are working with.)
Do They Offer to Work With Clients?
This next indicator isn’t necessarily an indicator of a good or a bad attorney, but it is something you should look into before considering hiring that individual if you are in a financial pinch. Look to see whether the attorney and their firm offer any type of payment plan/payment arrangement program or are they willing to work on a contingency basis?
Finding out this type of financial information beforehand will save you and the attorney in question from wasting each other’s time.
If you can’t find payment or financial information on the attorney’s website, call their office and ask about their payment options.
You can find out a lot about an attorney’s experience by reading through their resume and professional qualifications as well as by simply searching for that attorney online and finding any notable cases that they represented.
You don’t have to find an attorney who has worked supreme court cases, but what you should find is an attorney who has experience working with cases like yours. On the other hand, if you are unable to find any information about cases worked by the attorney or find only cases that are not related to your concerns, it’s a good sign that you should pursue another attorney.
Searching For the “Best Immigration Lawyer Near Me” In Pasadena?
Are you searching for the best immigration lawyer? If you live near Pasadena, California, Nelson and Associates would be more than happy to assist with your case. With decades of experience practicing immigration law, attorney Franklin Nelson is here to help! To make an appointment all you have to do is call 626-683-3451 today!