Questions to Ask When Selecting an Attorney

At Byrd & Associates, our firm's San Jose immigration attorney deeply cares about the men and women she represents. Because the lawyer you choose to hire for your immigration matter could make all the difference, we have created this page to help you choose wisely. If you are not sure about the quality of your lawyer or the advice you are receiving, get a second opinion. You can always change lawyers!

Does the lawyer only practice immigration law?
Many lawyers practice in a wide variety of legal areas, such as criminal law, tax law, estate law, as well as immigration law. Immigration law is a very complex category of law, and especially after September 11, 2001, it takes full dedication to competently comprehend it. To receive the best representation, make sure your lawyer only practices immigration law.

What is the lawyer's educational background?
While many fine lawyers have come out of mediocre law schools and lousy lawyers come out of the Ivy Leagues, where a lawyer went to school can still be an indicator of a person's ability to achieve. Even further, check to see if your lawyer has an advanced law degree (LLM).

Does the lawyer act professionally?
You can tell a lot about a lawyer from the way they conduct themselves. You can tell how professional they are by the way they dress, how clean they keep their office, and how they greet their clients. The odds are that a professional lawyer will represent you professionally, and an unprofessional lawyer will represent you unprofessionally.

Is the lawyer ethical?
Run as fast as you can from lawyers that tell you it is okay to lie or otherwise act dishonestly in your case. You are risking jail time and potential lifetime banishment from the United States. If they think it is okay for you to lie, they likely think it is okay for them to lie to you as well. Also, be wary of lawyers who guarantee a positive result in your case. A good lawyer can dramatically improve the chances of approval and success in your case, but no lawyer can guarantee a result.

Is the lawyer a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)?
AILA is probably the immigration lawyer's best resource for up-to-date information. While being an AILA member is not a sure sign of quality, it may indicate that the lawyer is keeping up with this rapidly changing field of law.

Does the lawyer handle tough immigration issues, like asylum and deportation?
Even though you may not need an asylum or deportation lawyer, ask the lawyer if they handle asylum and deportation cases. Many immigration lawyers don't deal with these cases because of the complexity involved. If a lawyer takes asylum and deportation cases, it is a good sign that they are competent enough to take care of your case.

Will a paralegal handle your case?
Many law firms hire paralegals to take care of your case. Your best bet is to hire a lawyer who will handle your case himself / herself and not pass it on to a paralegal.

Is the lawyer's work load such that your case will get the attention it needs?
Make sure your lawyer is not taking on so many cases that he / she cannot pay attention to your matter. When making an appointment, ask for other possible open spots for your appointment. If they only have a few open spots to meet you, it is a good sign that they are too busy to take on your case. If they are so busy that they are short with you, it may indicate they are too busy to represent you well.

Is the lawyer internet savvy?
Today, a lot of information is being disseminated electronically. Make sure your lawyer has access to online immigration data banks, has a website, and responds to emails daily.

Does the lawyer communicate with the client in a timely manner?
The number one complaint against lawyers in this country is not poor work quality - it is failing to communicate with their clients. You are paying a lot of money to hire a lawyer and it is your right to expect to be kept informed of developments and have your calls and emails returned in a timely manner. On the other hand, there is still such a thing as excess and calling your lawyer every day to find out what is happening on your case is not necessarily fair either.

Need a San Jose immigration lawyer? Call us at Byrd & Associates.

Our firm is confident in our abilities to assist you with your immigration case, regardless of its complexity. We will protect your rights and do everything possible to help you continue working towards your goals.

Give us a call today at (408) 916-1900 for the well-versed legal representation
you need for your immigration case in San Jose, CA.

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