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When we think about one of the most bashed professions, lawyers certainly take the cake. But while attorneys may have a bad reputation, justice in society would not be upheld without their help (not to mention that we as immigration evaluation therapists would be out of a job)!
This week’s blog is dedicated to Love Your Lawyer Day (celebrated the first Friday in November). In it, we’ll look more closely at what immigration lawyers do, when a person may seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer and consider some tips for ensuring a smooth collaboration between you and the attorneys you have to thank for connecting you to your clients.
What do Immigration Lawyers do?
The role of immigration lawyers is to guide individuals and their families regarding their rights as they proceed through the immigration process. In particular, they work to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for asylum-seekers, immigrants, and refugees in the U.S. (American Bar Association, n.d.).
Two key things make seeking an immigration lawyer a good idea for those engaging with the U.S. legal system.
First, immigration law in the U.S. is incredibly complex. It is thought to be the second-most complicated body of law (coming second to tax law; Nolo, n.d.). Given this complexity, it can be easy for individuals to make mistakes when completing paperwork, providing testimonies, and so forth. Yet, reducing the number of errors committed throughout immigration proceedings is critical to avoiding or minimizing delays.
A second reason to hire an immigration lawyer is that many immigration applications require a degree of persuasion. Applications are judged for believability and consistency, and lawyers are experts at helping their clients put forward robust applications that meet these criteria.
When Do Clients Seek out Immigration Lawyers?
In general, people hire immigration lawyers when they need to submit an immigration document, such as a visa or a green card.
It may be especially necessary to hire an immigration lawyer in cases when prior immigration applications have been denied, applications are taking an unreasonably long time, or applicants have a medical condition (LegalMatch, 2018).
Several other situations may prompt a person to hire an immigration lawyer that are especially relevant to us as immigration evaluation therapists. Such situations include when a person is being considered for deportation, seeking to enter the U.S. as an asylum-seeker, or wishes to change their citizenship or residency status (e.g., under the Violence Again Women Act).
Connecting to Immigration Lawyers
As immigration evaluation therapists, we can do much to connect with lawyers from a place of service, thereby supporting our key source of referrals. For more information, check out my dedicated post on the topic here.
To summarize, use the various digital means at your disposal to make it easy for lawyers to connect their clients to your practice. For instance, keep in touch with immigration lawyers via email, and consider creating a home for yourself on the web in the form of a video or website that lawyers can refer their clients to when they are considering undertaking an immigration evaluation.
Celebrating Love Your Lawyer Day is easy. According to the American Lawyers Public Image Association (ALPIA), all you need to do is refrain from lawyer bashing or jokes for the entire day.
Simple, right? But I think you can do one better.
Get in touch with the attorneys you know and let them know how much you appreciate them. A simple phone call or email may go a long way in reminding your local lawyer that their work is appreciated, contributes to a greater purpose, and is improving people’s lives every day.
American Bar Association. (n.d.). Commission on immigration.
LegalMatch. (2018). The role of immigration lawyers.
Nolo. (n.d.). What do immigration lawyers do?
I’m Cecilia Racine, and I teach therapists how to help immigrants through my online courses. As a bilingual immigrant myself, I know the unique perspective that these clients are experiencing. I’ve conducted over 300 evaluations and work with dozens of lawyers in the various states. Immigrants are my passion, I believe they add to the fabric of our country.
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