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Immigration Lawyer

Questions to Ask Your Immigration Lawyer

How long have you been a licensed Attorney Specializing in Immigration and nationality law?

It is important that the attorney you retain specializes in immigration law. This will make it more likely that he or she will have experience with your type of case. After all, you wouldn't go to a dentist for a broken foot. Also, the length of an attorney's career will tell you about their experience. You want your attorney to be a veteran.

How many cases have you handled that involve my particular type of immigration matter?

If your attorney has handled your type of case previously, he or she will know the pitfalls and details that are important. There are some processes that can only be learned from experience. For example, filings with immigration court and Citizenship and Immigration require a specific format, method of binding the papers, and tabulation. These are informal rules that are well known by seasoned immigration practitioners, and it is best to retain an Experienced Attorney.

Do you personally handle the immigration cases of clients who retain your law firm?

Some attorneys will meet you for a consultation, take your retainer, and hand off the file to a younger associate or a paralegal. Although some support staff are also experienced, and may handle your case well, this practice model is less likely to afford you proper representation. When an attorney handles your case from beginning to end, he or she will be intimately familiar with your case and all developments. Details can be lost in the transition between attorneys, so it is best if one attorney handles your case.

What, if anything, do you charge for the initial consultation?

Some attorneys charge for an initial consultation, and the fee is generally $100.00. You should ask whether that fee would be included in the retainer if you chose to hire the attorney. Some attorneys offer free consultations. You should be aware of the office's consultation fee policy prior to arriving at your appointment.

What is your billing structure?

Attorneys charge varying fees for representation. Your fee will be determined by the type of case you have, and the representation required. For example, if you are in removal proceedings, that will likely require several court appearances and filings, and therefore the fee will be higher. Most attorneys do not expect the full fee to be paid upfront. Be sure to ask about this policy at the time of your consultation.

Do you charge for additional court appearances that may be unforeseen at the time of the consultation?

Immigration court often requires several court appearances before the conclusion of a case. Some attorneys change additional fees for each court appearance, which can lead to substantially higher fees than you anticipated. You should be alerted to additional fees because they are disclosed on the retainer agreement.

This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.

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The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C.
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Trenton, NJ 08638

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