How to Hire a Brooklyn, New York Immigration Lawyer
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How to Hire a Brooklyn, New York Immigration Lawyer

 immigration lawyers

When it comes to filing for any immigration benefits there is a substantial amount of paperwork involved.  It would seem that everyone would hire a lawyer to process an immigration case, but that is not what always happens.  In many places such as Brooklyn, New York, there is a teeming "quasi" underground business of immigration forms preparation.  In many instances, these businesses call themselves immigration consultants or Notario Publicos, and some even hide under the guise of travel agents and translations services, and other such businesses.  They all charge less than licensed Brooklyn immigration lawyer, but they are unable to provide the service of a true immigration lawyer.

Immigration Consultants

In the Brooklyn, New York, as in other cities and states, there are many such immigration consultants who offer to help obtain legal residency. Some of them are honest and hardworking and limit their work to forms preparation without to resorting to making believe that they are licensed New York Immigration Lawyers. Some of the consultants are former employees of the Immigration Service or were U.S. consular employees.  As there is NO LICENSE for immigration consultants and NO EXAMINATION needed, you can imagine the inconsistency in the quality of the work.  Consultants, unlike a licensed Brooklyn, New York Immigration Lawyer, are not subject to discipline by the Bar Association and normally cannot be held for damages for their work product.

One thing for sure, the immigration consultants, are not permitted to appear at an immigration hearing to represent a client.  Not only can they not appear in front of an immigration examiner, they are not permitted to represent anyone in immigration court.

And there is no guarantee that when they complete the immigration forms that they know how to conduct a proper review, the way a licensed Brooklyn Immigration Lawyer would do, to prevent needless complications and possible deportation action.  to make a complaint against an Immigration Consultant click here.

Notario Publico

In the United States, Notaries are authorized to compare signatures and certify, "notarize" that the signature on a form is that of the person who is named on the form, take oaths, or certifying a copy of the paper.  But that is not so in many foreign countries.  In Latin countries, Notarios hold an esteemed position very similar to lawyers.  The Notario prepares documents and reviews their execution and in some countries may have the power of law.

New immigrants get confused and believe that an American Notary has the same power and place in our society as that of a Notario in their country.  The immigrant believing that a Notario is like a licensed lawyer, hires the Notario and in many cases, find themselves in "hot water."  In the United States, most anyone can become a Notary Public, by filling our an application and taking a very simple test.    To make a complaint against a Notario Publico click here.

Travel Agencies and Translation Services

There are some travel agencies and Translation services that go well beyond their corporate charter.  They engage in similar activities, that the Notario Publico and the Immigration Consultants are doing by acting like a licensed Brooklyn Immigration lawyer.  However, in most every case, these agencies do little more that type up the immigration forms, not knowing what the immigration service in truly asking in each question. In many cases, their clients do not get the "Green Card" they believed was forthcoming, instead, they receive a Notice to Appear" for a deportation hearing in Immigration Court.

How to Select a licensed Brooklyn Immigration Lawyer

There are good reasons to hire a licensed Brooklyn, New York Immigration Lawyer  to handle your case. If you run into any problem during  the process, you will  need legal assistance to resolve it. If your immigration situation is complicated, there is even a greater reason to hire a licensed Brooklyn immigration lawyer. 

If you're going to hire an immigration lawyer, you need to do your research. A good lawyer will be worth every penny you pay him, but a poor one may wind up  adding  to your problems and costing a lot more in the long run.

Here are some tips to help you during your search.

  • Get references. Ask friends, family, or colleagues if they know any good immigration lawyers. People are quick to recommend a good lawyer and even quicker to badmouth a bad one. Be careful however, as no two cases are alike, so if your friend had a very simple case, it does not mean that the lawyer has experience with a complication one. Also, try to find out about the lawyers personality.  Some lawyers have a good beside manner, while others are gruff and demeaning.  You have to find a lawyer that fits well with your personality. Make sure the lawyer is a member of  AILA. Search for a lawyer on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) website. AILA is a  primary  association of immigration lawyers and attorneys, so you can be reasonably sure that  you're speaking to  someone who understands immigration law and policies. While membership in AILA is not a mandatory to practice immigration law, membership can be a good indication of a lawyer's level of commitment to the practice.   You can also go to AVVO.COM to find a list of the best immigration lawyers.
  • Find articles written by the Immigration lawyer or written about him/her.  Search the internet for articles written about this Brooklyn immigration lawyer.  Make sure these articles are favorable.  Look for articles this Brooklyn immigration lawyer has written and read them. In this way, you will find out how the lawyer thinks and the depth of his knowledge.

  • Make a short list of Brooklyn immigration lawyers. Interview the lawyers to find one who matches your needs. Ask about their experience. Find out if they have worked with your type of case before. Immigration law is a complicated specialty, so you'll want a lawyer who is experienced with your specific type of case.  At the consultation, you will be able to determine if the lawyer understands, listens to your problems and answers your question clearly Look for whatever traits you like to see in your lawyer.  Make sure that he has many years of experience. Compare fee schedules. Some lawyers bill hourly while others charge a flat fee. Find out if there are additional costs such as postage, mailing fees or long distance charges. In many cases, immigration work can be estimated fairly accurately. Others are quite difficult to predict. An immigration lawyer is more likely to charge an hourly rate for a deportation case, and a flat fee for family related matters.

  • Verify credentials. When you believe that you've found a lawyer you feel comfortable with, you should find out if the lawyer is licensed and not under disciplinary action.  This link will help you do this. 

  • Get a Retainer.  You should always receive a retainer from the lawyer, which will clearly state the legal fees and other charges and the manner of payment.

  • Make sure the person running the office is a lawyer. Notaries, consultants, or others who are not licensed as a lawyer at times pretend to be a licensed Brooklyn, New York immigration lawyer.  Sometimes they are lawyers, but form another country; sometimes they are American lawyers that have lost the license. Look for the lawyer's license on the wall. Some licensed lawyers may not display their certificates, so ask if the person is a lawyer. Look at the business card from the office. Make sure it says that the person is a lawyer or attorney, not an immigration consultant or Notario Publico.