So, you need an immigration lawyer, but how much does an immigration lawyer cost? How do you know whether you’re in a position to afford a particular immigration attorney? What else do you need to know before you begin using the services of an immigration attorney? We’ve got a few answers for you today!
How Much Does An Immigration Lawyer Cost?
The cost of your immigration attorney is going to vary based on a number of different circumstances. Today we’re going to look at some of those influencing factors. The bottom line is, however, that if you want an accurate picture of how much you can expect to pay for a lawyer to help with your case, the only way to get that is to speak with a lawyer yourself.
What Kind of Service You Need
Perhaps the most obvious factor that influences how much you can expect to pay for legal services is the type of service you need from your lawyer. Do you need basic help filling out and submitting forms or do you need representation for a court case that is likely to drag on for months?
Talk with your attorney during your consultation and ask them what kind of estimate they would put on the services you need. They should be able to give you a ballpark figure so that you know what you are looking at paying for representation in your case.
What Attorney You Choose
Like any other professional service, the cost of service is going to vary depending upon the experience and reputation of the service provider that you choose. For example, if you hire an attorney who is fresh out of law school, they are not going to have the experience of an attorney who has been in business for twenty years. However, the attorney who is fresh out of law school is going to cost you much less than a reputable attorney who has been practicing for decades!
You need to balance the cost of your attorney with the skill required to work on your case as well as weight the consequences of what is at stake. For example, if you are facing deportation for a crime, you will want to hire a more experienced attorney who will cost a higher fee, but who is more familiar with your type of case. This gives you the best chance of coming out of your case on top!
Similar to the first item on our list, the type of circumstances that surround your need for an immigration attorney is going to influence how much you can expect to pay for service. Extenuating circumstances include anything “out of the ordinary” to do with your case. For example, you may be seeking citizenship but have previously been arrested and although you were cleared of charges, legal paperwork does not reflect the clearing. This creates a particularly complicated situation that will require your attorney to chase down information and spend extra time on your case. So, you should expect to pay more for situations with extenuating circumstances.
The thing with extenuating circumstances, however, is that they aren’t always apparent at the beginning of a situation. You may not realize that your case has extenuating circumstances until your attorney stumbles upon this fact while researching for your case. In this situation, your lawyer will let you know what is happening and will discuss any increased cost in services. This discussion should take place BEFORE your attorney carries out any of this additional work, you should NOT be surprised with a hefty bill that you have no alternative but to pay because someone forgot to let you in on the “goings-on”.
Where You Live
This is something that surprises a lot of newcomers to hiring any professional for a service – particularly when they have just moved to a big city for the first time. The fact is that with any professional service, you can expect to pay more for the same service in some areas than you would pay in other areas. For example, if you live in Los Angeles and are looking to hire an attorney, your cost is going to be significantly higher than if you were to hire an attorney in Apex, North Carolina. There are a few reasons for this:
- The cost of living in big cities is higher and so professionals must charge more for their services in order to cover those costs.
- Professionals who live and work in big urban centers are likely to be more in demand than those who live in less urban areas. This increased popularity can cause an increase in cost as is seen with any other “supply and demand model”.
Your Understanding and Contact Frequency With Your Attorney
Another thing that sometimes surprises newcomers to professional services is that you are going to pay more for a service when you take up more of a professional’s time. Now, this should seem like common sense, but the fact is that most people don’t consider a phone call to a professional as “billable time”. When you are working with attorneys, however, you are consulting that attorney every time that you ask them a question or contact the about something to do with your case. Since this qualifies as a professional consultation, you WILL be billed for that time. Yes, even though you aren’t in your attorney’s office at the time!
It’s a great idea to write down everything you want to ask your attorney BEFORE you go to your appointment. This lessens the likelihood that you are going to have to bother your attorney after hours and incur additional charges that can often run up quite quickly!
Are You Looking For an Immigration Lawyer Near You?
If you live in or around Pasadena, California and you’re looking for a reputable and experienced immigration attorney, Nelson and Associates can help! Just pick up the phone and give us a call today at 626-683-3451 and let’s set up a consultation appointment together.