How to Hire a Great Atlanta Immigration Attorney
- By Nisha Karnani
- June 21, 2017
- Family and General Immigration
The best way to start your search for a great immigration attorney to help you with immigration, naturalization, visas, deportation defense, refugee asylum, or temporary protected status is to ask another lawyer. Attorneys know lawyers in other practice areas and can provide you with a quality referral. You can also ask a friend or family member about the immigration attorneys who have helped them in the past. Finally, you can check the American Immigration Lawyers Association website for a list of immigration lawyers in Atlanta and nearby areas.
Learn More about Each Immigration Lawyer
Be sure to review the law firm’s website and read the attorney’s biography. See how much experience the lawyer has in the immigration specialty you need. Have they written any articles or earned any recognition in that practice area? Pay attention to the number of specialties the attorney is working with at one time. You’ll be better off with a more specialized immigration lawyer who works only on immigration. Immigration law is complex and changes often, so the specialists are usually more up-to-speed on the latest developments.
Check for Customer Reviews
Search online for customer reviews about the law firm and the immigration attorney. If there are negative complaints, see how the company responded. Keep in mind that lawyers cannot always respond – either because the site does not allow responses or because of attorney-client privilege. Look for multiple good reviews that are detailed and descriptive.
Search for the Atlanta immigration attorney on the State Bar of Georgia website to ensure there has been no legal disciplinary action, including disbarment. Do NOT hire anyone who has been disbarred. Only pursue a referral if their status says “Active Member in Good Standing.” Immigration lawyers can provide immigration legal services not only in the state where they have been admitted to the bar but in other US states as well. The bar is an office that exists in each US state to handle attorney licenses, discipline from complaints, and ongoing legal education.
Beware Notarios and Visa Consultants
Do not go to a notario or visa consultant for legal assistance. Immigration law is complicated, and these non-lawyers often do more harm than good. Notarios, visa consultants, and even some lawyers cause trouble if they deceptively apply for benefits the client is not allowed to receive. Other times, they cause harm simply because they don’t know what they don’t know. One small detail, even if it seems unimportant, can change everything in immigration law.
Set Up an Appointment
Call the law firm to set up a consultation appointment. Most Atlanta immigration lawyers charge a consultation fee; so find out what they charge. Ask if they allow phone consultations. For your appointment, bring your list of questions and all of your immigration documents, including your passport(s).
When you meet, take note of the lawyer's and the overall law firm’s professionalism. Do you feel comfortable, respected, and listened to? Avoid attorneys who make 100% guarantees or success rates. Be wary of working with an immigration lawyer who gets irritated if you ask questions about their advice.
When the attorney discusses immigration legal fees, ask when payments will be scheduled and if they charge a flat rate or an hourly rate. Make sure the law firm puts in writing all the details about payments and the work they plan to do, and ask them to review this information with you. Consider meeting with more than one immigration attorney, especially if you have concerns or get bad news.
The Attorneys at Antonini & Cohen
You will find qualified, professional Atlanta immigration attorneys at Antonini & Cohen. Our immigration lawyers are dedicated to immigration law and have many years of experience in all areas of immigration. Our offices are conveniently located on Buford Highway, and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Please contact us to set up your consultation today.