Who is the best immigration lawyer in Virginia? If you are in Virginia, you will have many good immigration lawyers to choose from. The difficult part will be in finding one that is a good match for you and your case. Because of how many different factors need to be considered in selecting the best immigration lawyer for your case, however, it isn’t possible to just provide a list of the best immigration lawyers in Virginia. The best immigration lawyer for your case may not be the best immigration lawyer for your friend’s case.
What should you consider when looking for the best immigration lawyer in Virginia for your case? At a minimum, you should consider the following six items:
Does the lawyer explain issues so that you can understand?
Immigration law is complicated and you will probably have many questions for your immigration lawyer. Is the lawyer able to explain to you the different immigration options and the legal issues involved in your case in a way that makes sense to you? Your immigration case is probably one of the most important things in your life and you’ll want to make sure that you can make well-informed decisions and understand all of your options.
But how do you know if the lawyer can explain things in away that makes sense to you? One way to find out is to ask the immigration lawyer for a copy of any books or immigration information guides that the lawyer has written. If at all possible, you should review these material before you set up a meeting with the lawyer. After all, they’ll give you an idea of how the lawyer thinks and whether you’ll understand how the lawyer explains immigration issues. If you think that the lawyer may be a good match for you after you read her books and guides, you should go ahead and set up an appointment so that you can discuss you case in detail with the lawyer.
Immigration Practice Area
Not every immigration lawyer will handle every type of immigration case. It is not uncommon for a lawyer to only accept cases in selected subareas of immigration law. For example, a lawyer may accept employment-based immigration cases but may not accept asylum cases. In that situation, the lawyer probably isn’t the best choice for your asylum case. Likewise, a lawyer may be an excellent match for your immigrant visa case, but you may decide that you prefer a different immigration lawyer for your immigration court case. After all, these types of cases are very different and the best lawyer for you for one type of case may not be the best lawyer for you for another type of case.
You should also consider whether there is a good match between your personality and the lawyer’s personality. Many immigration cases can take months if not years to complete. With that in mind, shouldn’t you work with someone that you enjoy working with?
Virginia is a big state. If you live in Norfolk, it may not make sense to drive all the way to Arlington to meet with an attorney about your green card or immigrant visa case. But, if you find an immigration attorney that is a long drive away from you but you want to work with that attorney because you think she is the best immigration attorney for your case, you may want to see if you can work with that attorney long distance using phone calls, email and an online portal to exchange information.
For immigration court cases, you should keep in mind that the immigration court for Virginia cases is located in Arlington, Virginia. Depending on your situation, if you are outside the Northern Virginia area, you may find that you prefer to work with an attorney who is close to you, even if that means that you have to pay a greater fee to cover the attorney’s travel time to Arlington. On the other hand, you may decide that you prefer to work with an attorney who has an office closer to the Arlington Immigration Court, even if that means that you have a longer drive to meet with your attorney. There is no one right answer to this issue — it simply depends on your personal preferences.
Although cost will almost always be an issue because you’ll need to make sure that the attorney you choose will fit within your budget, I recommend that you do not use cost as your primary decision tool. You shouldn’t just shop around for the least expensive attorney and the most expensive attorney may not always be the best one for your case.
When evaluating a lawyer’s fee, you should primarily consider the overall value that is being offered:
- Are you confident in the lawyer’s ability to represent you?
- Will you be charged extra for phone calls, online legal research or postage?
- What is included with the fee?
- Will you be charged extra if the government requests additional information in your case?
- Will the lawyer attend your interview with you or will an additional fee be charged?
Membership in Professional Organizations
Because immigration law is constantly changing, it is important that you hire an immigration attorney who keeps up with the changes in the law. One of the best ways for a lawyer to stay up to date with the law is to join the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Among other things, AILA provides continuing education courses and daily information updates that help members stay up to date with new developments in immigration law. If your attorney is not a member of AILA, you should ask about what steps they take to keep up to date with changes in immigration law.
By considering the above factors, you should be able to narrow down your list of Virginia immigration lawyers on your personal “best Virginia immigration lawyers” list. You can locate attorneys by doing Internet research and checking with friends and family. Once you have your initial list, you will be ready to start speaking to the lawyers so that you can make a final decision on who you would like to represent you.
Are you interested in finding out whether Schaefer Immigration and Virginia immigration lawyer Kimberley Schaefer would be a good match for your case? If so, I invite you to request a copy of my paperback book, Immigration Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make, or to download one of my immigration guides (fiance visa guide, immigrant visa guide, adjustment of status green card guide). These resources will let you learn more about me and how I help future Americans become citizens. If after reading the book and information guides you’d like to set up an appointment to discuss your case with me, please send me an email or call me at (703) 662-3244.