What Most Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You
I have been around the block so to speak. Over the years I have met thousands of people wishing to immigrate, get work visas, study or just visit Canada or the US. Some of these people are in terrible trouble, facing removal and deportation.
But my experience doesn’t end there. I have also encountered many other immigration lawyers with varying degrees of experience and expertise.
Some of these lawyers are amazing! Their knowledge and understanding of immigration law blows the mind. On the flip side there are those, well…. not so impressive. In any industry, and the legal industry is no exception, you get extremes on both ends.
Secrets – Why Are We Keeping Them…?
But one of the interesting aspects about the immigration field I noticed is the belief that there are certain things you should not tell or at least not share with clients. Note not all immigration lawyers believe these things, but a lot of them do.
Here is a list of “what not to discuss with clients”:
- That clients can do it themselves
- We have little control over processing times.
- We have no real control over the ultimate outcome of cases
- We are often scared and insecure about whether we can help
- We make mistakes
- We sometimes lose cases
- We are human
Immigration Lawyers Need to Start Being More Transparent
I am not sure why a lot of immigration lawyers keep this stuff to themselves. I am not suggesting they mislead people in any way (at least the good ones don’t), but in the end, clients really know all of this already. They know we are not Gods (sometimes we think we are) ; they know we are not Government officials who have control over approvals or denials. And they know they can technically go it alone. They also know we are indeed human and do make mistakes.
So Why Do People Hire Immigration Lawyers If They Can Do It Themselves?
I think that people believe that despite our limitations, we care, we know how to do it better than they do and the odds of success are improved when hiring a professional.
In my opinion we as immigration lawyers are the “odds makers“. We help tip the scale in our clients’ favour due to our experience of submitting thousands of visa applications. We do not work miracles (although some cases that we win may seem like it). Often an approval was just due to submitting complete and clean paperwork.
I feel, and some of my colleagues agree, that by just levelling with clients; telling them like it is, builds trust. Yes we went to law school. Yes we have experience. But we, like you, are only human. And to me, telling our client’s this is the best selling feature. No need to keep secrets.
What are your thoughts…? Let us know your opinion in the comment section below.
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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