If you are looking for the best immigration attorney in Los Angeles, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, immigration attorneys are extremely busy professionals. So make sure that you do all your homework in order to use your time as well as that of your attorney in the most efficient way. You must also be watchful for dubious claims and promises that many attorneys make to uninformed clients. Here are a few things you should include in your search strategy for an immigration attorney in Los Angeles.
Search Online Listings
Online listings are convenient and can be a great help at the first stage of your immigration attorney search. If you’re looking for an immigration attorney in Los Angeles, then you should search an online directory exclusively for Los Angeles attorneys. Alternatively, you can even go to the AILA listing for a nation-wide listing of immigration attorneys, and then zero in on those operating in Los Angeles. This will help you draft a fairly reliable initial list of immigration attorneys who will be able to handle your case proficiently.
Assess their Credentials
This is the most important step in identifiable a good immigration attorney, or even for drawing up a short list of potential attorneys. The first thing you need to check if the attorney you are considering has a valid license to operate in Los Angeles. Next, you need to find out if they have any red flags on their track record, such as disciplinary action or punishments for unethical conduct while performing their duties. The best place to get this information is the California state bar, but it is also possible to get this information online. This will help you strike out apparently untrustworthy lawyers.
While this should ideally be the first step in your search, it is better to carry out this step once you have done a bit of legwork and independent research. Ask your family members or people in the workplace if they know a reliable immigration lawyer. You can even tap into your online social networks to identify some good lawyers you can consider. The good thing about doing this is that you will not only identify good immigration attorneys, but your friends will also warn you about lawyers that have a dubious reputation you need to stay away from.
Discuss the Legal Fees
Once you have settled on an immigration attorney you want to work on your case, schedule a visit to meet them and discuss your case. Be direct about the fees they will charge. Usually, it’s going to be an hourly rate, but you can always bargain for a fixed, one-off, predetermined amount for the entire case. If this doesn’t work and your attorney insists on an hourly basis, then you can ask them for an estimate of the total hours that your case would require. This will help you avoid unexpectedly high attorney fees later on.
Focus on the Relationship
The most important thing you must consider is whether you can have a productive interaction and open communication with your attorney. It is essential that you be able to share information openly and freely with your attorney in order to ensure a watertight case. Even after your visa application has been granted, you will need to revisit the immigration office several times. Working with the same attorney can lead to smoother process in the future and help you save time and money as well.
By following the above steps, you should be able to start working with a good immigration attorney in no time.