How to Find the Best Immigration Attorney

immigrationThe United States Census Bureau indicates that about 13% of the country’s population is made up of immigrants from foreign countries. In fact, it is estimated that people of Hispanic descent will make up over 40% of the United States population in 2041. Immigrants are a vital part of the U.S. economy. Around 68% of the foreign born population has earned a high school diploma or an education from a higher learning institution. These immigrants then go on to live fruitful lives, working in the same industries as natural born citizens. Sometimes, however, issues with immigration arise, and immigrants must handle the troubles or face deportation. An immigration attorney can assist with this. Follow some of the tips listed below to find the most reputable attorney available.

1. Contact friends, family members, and acquaintances who have had immigration troubles in the past. These people can suggest a good attorney who is experienced in immigration law. Also, family and acquaintances provide information on lawyers who may not be as competent. Most people are more than willing to disclose their experiences with legal professionals, as long as you ask. Be wary of any accounts of lengthy or drawn out immigration processes, or basic problems obtaining a green card. Also, steer clear of lawyers who charge exuberant fees or extra charges on top of base fees.

2. Search the AILA for an immigration lawyer in your area. The AILA is the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The AILA is an organization of legal professionals and lawyers who both practice and teach immigration law. Immigration lawyers do not need to be affiliated with the organization, but membership is a good indication of professionalism and good standing within the legal community.

3. Speak to immigration lawyers you find through the AILA or family recommendations. A quick 15- to 30-minute consultation with five or more lawyers is best to give you a feel of which one you like best. Ask the lawyers about their specialties. Immigration law is a broad field. Some lawyers specialize in green card applications, while others help to get family members out of foreign countries. Also, legal professionals may specialize in marriage visas and deportation law. Make sure the lawyer’s specialty meets your needs, and check credentials when you find a lawyer you like.

4. Ask about legal fees up front. Lawyers charge clients in various ways with either base fees or hourly charges. Lawyers with basic fees are best if your legal concern is a simple one, or if you are on a budget. Lawyers who charge hourly fees are good for more complicated cases. Hourly charges can add up over time, but the vast majority of established lawyers charge by the hour. This means a better outcome for you in a relatively timely manner.

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Richard Herman is a nationally-known immigration attorney with 20+ years of experience representing families and businesses in all aspects of immigration law. Richard was voted for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© and listed in Super Lawyers© for ten consecutive years, Richard is the founder of the Herman Legal Group, an immigration law firm serving clients in over 12 languages from offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Detroit, whose attorneys have represented diverse clientele, from Fortune 500 companies to undocumented workers, from technology entrepreneurs to NFL teams. He is the co-author of the acclaimed book, Immigrant, Inc. ---Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). Richard has appeared FOX News (The O’Reilly Factor), ABC News 20/20, National Public Radio, and has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Inc., PC World, Computerworld, CIO, TechCrunch and InformationWeek.

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