How to help your immigration lawyer serve you better, and save you money

An example of how not to give documents.
By Grace Alano
There are ways that you can help your immigration lawyer serve you better and faster. Here are some things that you can do to help your immigration lawyer work for you:

Try to establish a good rapport with your lawyer.

Remember that old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey…”  But be sincere.

Promptly return your lawyer’s phone calls and emails.

It can help a lawyer’s workflow if a client is accessible when the lawyer needs information.  Also, a simple, “Thanks, got it.” or “I’m working on it” reply email can save your lawyer from having to send follow up emails or voice mails.  That, in turn, frees up his or her time to do more substantive work for you.

Be neat and organized with your documents.

Make photocopies of  your documents and give it to your lawyer in a neat stack.  Or send or upload PDFs.  If you send PDFs, send them as one document.  For example, if your lawyer needs your tax return, send all pages in one PDF, not as 20 separate PDFs for your lawyer to open and download.

Be computer-friendly.

It is much easier for your lawyer to send you documents and forms by email than by snail mail.  It is cheaper, too.  It will help keep your lawyer’s overhead down, which will keep prices down.

Don’t expect too much handholding.

It takes time away from allowing your lawyer to actually work on your case.  Some lawyers will also charge you more for the extra time spent on your case.

Give your lawyer whatever paperwork he or she asks for, and do so in a timely manner.

Don’t complain about getting a document if you can get it.  Don’t take six months to send it in.

Pay your invoices on time.

Paying your bills on time frees the lawyer from having to follow up on payment.

All of these above suggestions are based on very common practice issues that come up for immigration attorneys.  They can also help your lawyer to file your immigration application in three to four weeks as opposed to three to four months.

Grace Alano is the Principal Attorney at The Law Offices of Grace R. Alano in San Francisco, CA.  Find Grace on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

Photo by Kozumel.

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One thought on “How to help your immigration lawyer serve you better, and save you money

  1. This content has excellently described how we can help our immigration lawyers help us better. At times, we ourselves are responsible for making the process difficult. This needs to be avoided and we need to be able to answer all the questions that our lawyer put to us. You have covered all the important points in this article and it really is a good read. I will definitely share this information with my friends who recently hired an immigration lawyer.

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