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Finding the Right Immigration Lawyer for You

(Below is a transcription of this video)

Hello, my name is Michael Niren. We received a question about how to find the right immigration lawyer. The question is, “I’m looking to find an immigration lawyer to help me with my visa application, but I really don’t know how to judge what lawyer is best for me. Can you help?”

Tips for Finding the Right Immigration Lawyer for You

This is a really good question, and I have some tips for you.

Make Sure the Lawyer Only Specializes in Immigration

First of all, make sure the lawyer only specializes in immigration. Immigration law is very complex. There’s a lot of changes in the law, and if you hire a lawyer who does immigration and other areas of law, it may not serve your interests because I’ll tell you studying immigration law and practicing immigration law takes a lot of time. So if you’re looking for a lawyer who does other areas of law, it may be a problem, not to say that they won’t be a good lawyer, it’s just probably a good idea to focus on someone who specializes in immigration law.

Interview the Lawyer Before Hiring Them

Now, the other tip is interview that lawyer before hiring them. Again, this sounds perhaps common sense, but what you should be doing is sitting down with that lawyer either in person or over the phone, and get a sense of how they’re there to help you, what they’re all about, how do they communicate with you, et cetera. That’s one of the best ways to gauge whether or not the lawyer is right for you.

Make Sure that the Lawyer Has Experience

The other tip is make sure that the lawyer has experience in handling the case that you’re looking for. At the end of the day there are lots of different immigration cases. There’s deportation cases, there’s visa cases, there’s a whole bunch of different kinds of immigration cases, and not every lawyer has handled every kind of case. So after presenting your case, explaining what your problem is, ask the question, “Does that lawyer have experience handling the type of case that you need?” If that’s the case, that’s a good sign.

Find Out How the Lawyer Communicates

The other point is you have to find out how the lawyer communicates. Once you hire that lawyer, and you give that lawyer your file, is that lawyer going to maintain an open line of communication with you? When you call the law firm, are they going to pick up the phone, and transfer you to that lawyer? Can you email that lawyer? It’s very, very important that during the course of the application you have a open line of communication every step of the way, and that’s really, really important.

The other point is you have to find out how the lawyer communicates. Once you hire that lawyer, and you give that lawyer your file, is that lawyer going to maintain an open line of communication with you? When you call the law firm, are they going to pick up the phone, and transfer you to that lawyer? Can you email that lawyer? It’s very, very important that during the course of the application you have a open line of communication every step of the way, and that’s really, really important.

Research the Immigration Lawyer Online

The other point, and a very important point is research the lawyer online. The Internet is a great place these days to find out the reputation of any lawyer, including an immigration lawyer. So it’s very important that you do your homework. You can go on online reviews. There’s lots of reviews out there where you can see what other people think of the lawyer. You can go on that lawyer’s website as well, and ask around. That should give you an idea as to the lawyer’s reputation.

I hope that these tips will really help you find the right immigration lawyer. Thank you very much.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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