How Do I Choose An Immigration Lawyer?

Choosing an Immigration Lawyer

When choosing an immigration lawyer, it is important to choose one that is well-suited to your particular needs. While many immigration lawyers are good people who genuinely want to help people with their immigration and visa needs, some people have bad experiences with incompetent, neglectful, apathetic, bill padding, and even fraudelent immigration lawyers. Your particular needs may make it so that you have to do different things to choose an immigration lawyer, but the following are some basics that may be helpful to guide you on different ways to look for and choose an immigration lawyer that will be good for your needs. 


Make sure that a lawyer that you are considering hiring does in fact have a license to practice immigration law in the state that you are applying. Each state has a state bar association as well as many private bar associations. Most bar associations publicly disclose the members of their bars, as well as if they have had any disciplinary actions taken against them and if they are in good standing with licensing boards. While most lawyers that advertise themselves as being licensed to practice law, are in fact such, it is a good idea to make sure of this before you seek legal advice and counsel from them.

Word of Mouth

Trustworthy family, friends and community members that have been through the immigration process or who are close with someone who has been, can be valuable resources for recommendations for trustworthy immigration lawyers. It can be a comfort to know that an immigration lawyer that you are considering paying money to, has successfully helped someone you know (or someone who you know knows).


Google or other search engines on the internet are likely to be an integral part of your search for an immigration lawyer. From initially looking into whether or not you are going to need one; for the particular kind of immigration or visa help you need; to the kind of reviews previous clients and peers have given a lawyer you are considering, as well as for their success rates; name just a few of the many things you are likely to use the internet for when searching for an immigration lawyer.

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is a national association of lawyers that are invested in promoting justice in US immigration law and policies. It was established to promote the philosophy of fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, to enhance the professional development of the members, and to advance the quality of immigration law. This 12,000 member group provides regular, continuing education training for immigration lawyers. The majority of immigration lawyers and firms are members of AILA. If you are interested in hiring a lawyer or law firm that is not a member of AILA, make sure that they do in fact have expertise and experience with successfully helping previous clients with their immigration and visa needs.

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