Protect Yourself When Seeking Immigration Counsel

BUYER BEWARE - Protect yourself when hiring legal counsel

When seeking to hire a good immigration attorney, “buyer beware” applies.

A few weeks ago, I raved about how I enjoy the “camaraderie and professionalism” of my fellow immigration practitioners. This is true . . . for the most part. Unfortunately, as with many things, there are a few bad apples.

So, this is my list of the types of folks you should avoid:

  1. The lawyers who “helped” clients fabricate false asylum claims.
  2. This former government attorney who took bribes from immigrants.
  3. “Notarios”, paralegals, immigration consultants who “claim” to be attorneys.
  4. These attorneys who submitted false employment-based petitions.
  5. The Executive Office of Immigration Review (which oversees the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals) maintains a list of disciplined attorneys.

Obtaining lawful permanent resident status is not an easy process. If you are seeking legal assistance, you need to protect yourself and conduct some basic research on the attorneys you meet before you entrust them with your hard-earned money and the future of your family inside the United States. You would be wise to ask:

  • Does the attorney have an active license to practice law?
  • Are there any records of disciplinary actions against the attorney?
  • Does the attorney have a good reputation in the community?

Ask your friends if they know anyone who has worked with the attorney before. Do a search on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine and see what comes up.

If there is only one thing that you remember from reading this article, it is simply “Protect Yourself.”

With regard to me, the answers to the above questions are: Yes, No, I have been told the answer is Yes, and you’ll need to ask your own friends and do your own searches. If after all that, I make the cut, then I invite you to contact me.

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