How Do You Find the Best Green Card Lawyer? 7 Tips

Do you have an immigration issue that needs solving? Are you trying to get a green card?

There are so many lawyers out there these days, and everyone is going to tell you they are the best. But when you (or a loved one), are trying to remain in the United States you really can’t afford to make any mistakes, or have a less experienced lawyer make them for you. So how do you cut through all the self-promotion and find the best green card lawyer you can find?

Here are 7 Tips to Help You Find the Best Green Card Lawyer:

1) Read Peer Ratings:
There are a number of great sites with rankings of lawyers that help with green cards and immigration issues:

Every one of these websites contain a wealth of helpful data. A top rating in these directories says a great deal about about an Immigration Attorney. However, these sites are – by no means – the only places to look.

2) Check out Client Reviews:
Of course you can Google the Immigration lawyer or law firm, and check out the ratings. Also check out the aforementioned Lawyers.com as well as Avvo and Yelp. Reviews by actual clients of a Green Card Lawyer are specific. They assist you in understanding these attorneys. Do not simply count the number of reviews, but really take time to read the reviews carefully. It’s going to give you a lot of insight into what makes that lawyer, or law firm stand out.

3) Look Over The Firm’s Website:
How professional is their website? You should be able to easily find client reviews, and links to any awards or recognition they have received. As many clients have told me, “you have spent a great deal of effort on your website.  That shows me that you will also work hard on my case.”  I honestly never thought of this point until others brought it to my attention, but it makes sense. If a lawyer cares about his business, chances are he will care about your business as well.

4) Find Out How Well They Know Immigration Law:
First of all, are they all in one area of law? Immigration law is one of the most complex fields there is. For example, do you want someone who will take your green card case, but they mostly do divorce law? Also, how well does the particular Green Card Lawyer know the Immigration Act? Caselaw? Federal regulations? The best way to discover this is to read about their various lectures and writings on immigration law. Also, see if you can watch videos of them speaking about the law. Have they written on the topic, or lectured at law schools?

5) Weigh Their Experience:
Years of active practice are significant, but an even better tool to measure the experience of the Green Card Lawyer is to talk with him about how many hours he has spent on different types of cases. You not only want length of time practicing Immigration Law, you want to make sure that the lawyer has covered many cases like yours. And won them.

6) Solo vs. Partners vs. Team:
Ask yourself: is a one-attorney office as good as two?  Does a team of Green Card Lawyers work best to achieve success? Just like in sports where a roster wins based on its players’ teamwork, so it goes with real life problems.

7) Accessibility:
Are you able to talk to your Green Card Lawyer on email any day at any time? Can you count on them to call you back as quickly as possible? Trying to get a green card, and dealing with immigration problems can be one of the most stressful and life-changing processes. If it goes wrong, it can be devastating. You want to know that you aren’t just a number on an immigration lawyer’s roster. It’s important that you can contact your lawyer at any time with questions or concerns that you have. Isn’t that why they are there?

Remember: this is your life. Your green card lawyer should be there to help and support your through all aspects of your immigration process. Choose wisely, it could be the most important decision of your life!

Harlan York has been listed in Best Lawyers of America for 11 consecutive years, and is a top choice for an Immigration Attorney if you live in New Jersey, New York, or beyond.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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