5 Tips on Selecting the Prime Immigration Lawyer
If you need an immigration lawyer in Houston, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the number of law firms willing to assist you with your problem. Choosing the right lawyer can be a difficult task. This article will explain some of the most important things to consider when hiring an immigration attorney.
What Kind of Assistance You Need
The first thing to consider when deciding whether you need to hire an immigration attorney in Houston is what kind of problem you have. Many people who are working on obtaining a long-term visa or applying for U.S. citizenship hire attorneys for the entire process, but some of the paperwork can be done without an attorney, and much of the research can be done ahead of time. Although it is likely that you will need an attorney at some point in the process, there is some of the preliminary research that can be done by yourself.
If you’re unsure if you need an attorney at this stage, you may want to talk to a variety of nonprofit immigration assistance groups in your area to determine if you need your own attorney. Immigration attorneys can also help if you’re concerned about your residency status changing due to changes in U.S. law or if you’re charged with a crime or have another unexpected problem.
You want to pick someone who is experienced and can handle the particular problem that you face. The last thing you want to do when hiring an immigration attorney is find the cheapest option available. There are some attorneys in the Houston area who are simply overworked or that don’t have enough time to dedicate to working on your case. Others may not speak your language or are unfamiliar with your culture. Most attorneys will offer a free or low cost initial consultation so you can evaluate whether the particular lawyer or firm in question will be a good fit for you.
Although it’s true that the cheapest option probably won’t be the best representation for you, you may not need to hire the most expensive firm in the area either. You may want to meet with several attorneys to discuss retainer fees, costs, and other expenses that you’d need to cover while the attorney works on your case. Most immigration attorneys work on an hourly rate, so you should ask how many hours they anticipate your particular issue to take. If you pay a retainer, make sure you’re clear with your attorney that they need to call you once the retainer is used up before incurring additional expenses.
Although location is important, cloud-based work and online consultations mean that you may not have to meet with your attorney in person every time to discuss issues or collaborate on your case. Choose a firm that will work well with you and that is familiar with your area, but don’t be afraid to make a relationship with an out of town firm if it will best suit your needs, so long as that firm is licensed to file paperwork in your local court.
Finally, look for someone who is well-respected by other immigration firms. If you know someone else who has used an immigration attorney, ask them if they would recommend the firm they used. You can also ask potential attorneys if they’re members of local groups, or if they’ve won awards. Recognition like this can often mean that the attorney in question is well respected by peers or the community.