Immigration Law and Lawyers
What is Immigration law?
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What is Immigration Law?
Legal practitioners are members of their state legal bar — meaning that they have passed the state bar examination and are licensed to practice law in that jurisdiction. This is particularly important when seeking assistance on matters directly affected by state law. This is not necessarily the case for immigration law.
Immigration law is a matter of federal law. Most of the federal statutes concerning immigration can be found under Title 8 of the United States Code. Likewise, the applicable regulations can be found under Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Together, these two make up the primary body of law surrounding immigration.
Internet Searches for Lawyers
Ultimately, immigration law searchers begin to look on the internet for legal professionals to consult on their legal issues. Searching for an attorney via internet search engine is not a terrible choice when you have no other place to start. Most attorneys create detailed websites that state their areas of practice. These websites are readily accessible and indexed for internet search.
One of the most popular search phrases is, “immigration lawyer near me”. This type of search is natural and logical for most types of legal practice.
In reality, simply conducting an internet search for attorneys in your area can be a poor method of finding competent legal counsel. While there are certainly attorneys all over who practice immigration law, a better approach would be to search for attorneys will expertise in your particular matter. In doing so, there are several methods for finding lawyers with competence in a particular area.
Using the State Bar to Search for Lawyers
The first way to find a competent lawyer is through the state bar association. As previously discussed, all attorneys who hold themselves at to public practice are members of their state bar. Every state bar has an attorney directory. Most bars keep lists of attorneys by geography who practice a particular type of law.
The same bar is also the authority for attorney discipline and sanctions. They are aware when a particular attorney has received negative reviews or complaints. As such, the bar represents the best place for searching for attorneys in the immediate area which the expertise that you desire.
It is worth noting that rarely will an attorney claim to have expertise in a given field. Declaring one’s self an expert runs afoul of attorney ethics. Instead, these attorneys will remark on their proficiency or level of experience in a particular field. They will also be quick to disclaim any assurances of a particular result or outcome for their clients.
Asking Friends and Family for Referrals
Another method of finding an attorney is to query friends, family, and acquaintances. They are trusted and will generally give you a candid opinion. Often, these trusted individuals can provide a reference to a legal practitioner with whom they have personally dealt.
Having someone who can personally attest to the quality and extent of services offered by a legal practitioner can be very helpful. The only downside of this approach is that legal services for one person are rarely the same as the legal services needed by someone else. Hiring an attorney because another person has a positive experience does not necessarily mean that the attorney is a good fit and professionally competent to best handle your personal legal issue. At least this approach can provide you with initial leads.
Attorney Listing Services
Another option for finding attorneys in your area who practice in a particular area is to search professional attorney listings. There are numerous legal companies who provide paid listings for attorneys. Martingale-Hubbell, WestLaw, and LexisNexus are some of the largest. This is a very risky approach to finding an attorney. Just because an attorney claims to practice in a particular area and can pay for an advertisement does not mean they are a good fit for your legal issue. Nonetheless, these services often do provide pretty extensive lists of legal practitioners to research and review.
A similar listing service is through the American Bar Association. The ABA is the largest professional group of attorneys in the United States. It is one of the largest professional organizations for any profession. The ABA maintains an attorney directory organized by location and area of practice. Being listed in the ABA is open to all dues-paying members of the organization. Of course, the attorneys are listed based upon the information they provide. As such, this is very similar to a paid advertisement or listing. In any event, the ABA provides a very valuable service to the public in aiding individuals in finding competent legal counsel.
Professional Attorney Connection Services
There are many professional services that seek to connect legal professionals with clients in needs. The business model for these companies is to provide the public with extensive information about different areas of law. This information aims to adequately educate the individual to understand the relevant area of law.
In the case of immigration law, the connection service may have a litany of blog posts and other resources that explain the mass of statutes and regulations making up immigration law. It will also do so in a manner that is far easier to use and understand than the USCIS.gov website resources. The massive amount of information readily shows upon in search results and receives strong search rankings from internet search engines. In this way, individuals searching for legal service providers (or just information) are far more likely to find or encounter the company website.
Armed with this information, the individual is in a better place to search for legal counsel. The connection service will then offer to connect the potential client with a legal practitioner. The connection service keeps a large directory of legal professionals who practice a specific type of law in a given geography. Generally, these legal practitioners are vetted for level of experience and professional competence. This is a form of quality assurance for the potential client legal searcher. The connection service does not charge the potential client for this service; rather, it charges the legal professional with whom they connect the client. This is known as a “hot lead”.
The legal professional will generally answer routine questions for the potential client. The professional generally helps the client understand the particulars of their legal issue and inform them of how they could help or provide service. The counsel will seek to secure the individual as a paying client. This is a major benefit for all parties. The connection service has a vested interest in only working with competent legal professionals who will competently provide legal services for clients. The attorney receives ready leads for potential clients. The clients receives the following benefits.
A major benefit for the client is that they receive free advice, free connections, and free consultations with a competent attorney. There is no obligation to hire a particular legal professional unless the client believes that the consulting attorney is a good fit. If not, the potential client is free to move on to another legal professional for further consultation. The primary benefits can be summarized as access to information, personal connections with an attorney, no obligation consultations with more than one attorney.
Should You Search for Immigration Lawyers Near Me?
There is no right answer to that question. A simple Internet search can result in you finding the perfect legal practitioner in your area. If no, there many other available options for finding a competent legal professional. You do not have to use just one method. You can try all of these methods. Just be wary of services that want you to pay for an attorney connection. Also, be wary of services that seek to charge you for a timed conversation with an attorney.