Immigration Attorney In Us by cutiepie1336


									                                    IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS

Local Firms/Attorneys
                                     David E. Larson, Esq.               432 Walnut Street
Gregory P Adams, Esq.                Certo & Larson                      Cincinnati, OH 45202
Dinsmore & Shohl                     580 Lincoln Park Place, Suite 366   513-241-3992
255 E. 5th Street                    Kettering, OH 45429                 FAX: 513-241-1816
Cincinnati, OH 45202                 513-293-1100
977-8125                             FAX: 513-293-0598
FAX: 977-8141                                                            Deborah A. Youtsey, Esq.
                                     Firooz T. Namei, Esq.               Thompson Hine & Flory LLP
William T. Bartlett, Esq.            Drew S. Diehl, Esq.                 312 Walnut St., 14th Floor
Bartlett & Weigle, LPA               McKinney & Namei Co., LPA           Cincinnati, OH 45202
432 Walnut Street, Suite 1100        15 East 8th Street                  513-352-6796
Cincinnati, OH 45202                 Cincinnati, OH 45202                FAX: 513-241-4771
513-241-3992                         513-721-0200
FAX: 513-241-1816                    FAX: 513-632-5898                   Michael J. Zavatsky, Esq.
                                                                         Taft, Stettinius & Hollister
Matthew Brownfield, Esq.             Mary Joan Reutter, Esp.             1800 Star Bank Center
917 Main Street                      6924 Plainfield Rd.                 Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cincinnati, OH 45202-1314            Cincinnati, OH 45236-3799           513-381-2838
513-977-4217                         513-791-6000                        FAX: 513-381-0205
FAX: 513-977-4218                    FAX: 513-793-7779
                                                                         National Firms/Attorneys
Manley Burke                         Anne Rodrigo, Esq.
225 West Court Street                Webb & Pillich Attorneys            Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-1098          7815 Cooper Road, Suite A           Robert White, Esq.
513-721-5525                         Cincinnati, OH 45242                203 N. LaSalle Street
FAX: 513-721-4268                    513-792-9322                        Suite 2500           FAX: 513-985-9322                   Chicago, Illinois 60601
Counsel: Robert Manley, Gerald                                           312-245-7500
Prager, Rhonda Frey, Margaret        Steven Rothstein, Esq.              Fax: 312-245-7446
Allen, Manley Burke                  Katz, Greenberger & Norton
                                     105 E. 4th Street, Suite 900
Richard I. Fleischer, Esq.           Cincinnati, OH 45202-4011
917 Main Street                      513-721-5151                        Rund Wallman & Robbins LLP
Cincinnati, OH 45202-1314            FAX: 513-621-9285                   151 N. Delaware St.
513-977-4209                                                             Suite 520
FAX: 513-977-4218                    Marybeth W. Rutledge, Esq.          Indianapolis, IN 46204-2515
                                     Louis & Froelich                    317-639-2224
Douglas Halpert, Esq.                1812 Kettering Tower                Fax: 317-636-8631
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP                 Dayton, OH 45423
255 East Fifth Street, Suite 1900    513-226-1776                        Siskind, Susser, Haas & Devine
Cincinnati, OH 45202                 FAX: 513-226-1945                   5400 Poplar Ave., Suite 300
513-977-8125                                                             Memphis, TN 38119
FAX: 513-977-8141                    Charleston Cheng-Kung Wang,         800-343-4890
                                     Esq.                                901-682-6455
Michael F. Hammond, Esq.             The Wanglaw Building                Fax: 901-682-6394
3311 Carew Tower                     6924 Plainfield Road      
441 Vine Street                      Cincinnati, OH 45236
Cincinnati, OH 45202                 513-793-7776
513-381-2011                         FAX: 513-793-7779                   American Immigration Lawyers
FAX: 513-381-2227                                                        Association Immigration Lawyer
                                     Heather D. Walsh, Esq.              Referral Service
Linda M. Keck, Esq.                  Lisa D. Lehner, Esq.                1-800-954-0254
Frost, Brown & Todd                  Wood & Lamping
201 E. Fifth Street                  600 Vine Street, Suite 2500         E:\Immigration Attorneys
Cincinnati, OH 45202                 Cincinnati, OH 45202
513-651-6489                         513-852-6075
FAX: 513-651-6981                    FAX: 513-419-6475
                                     Douglas Weigle, Esq.
                                     Bartlett & Weigle, LPA

Many international visitors will seek to work and/or immigrate in the United States. International
visitors typically pursue H-1B immigration status for employment authorization. Canadians may be
able to utilize other visa options presented under the treaty between the U.S. and Canada (TN status).
There are also other employment statuses such as O and P. Some international visitors who are
highly skilled may opt for permanent resident applications through labor certifications, national interest
waivers or as an alien of extraordinary ability. The legal procedures involved in obtaining employment
and permanent resident status often require you to seek legal advice. This handout is intended to
offer practical advice on selecting an attorney who can best serve your needs.

Finding an Attorney

Although the attached list gives you the names of local attorneys and a few national firms, you should
realize that this is not necessarily an endorsement, and you must still be prepared to interview the
attorney. Over the years I have noticed that there is a lack of coherent resources available to those
seeking qualified immigration expertise. This often leads international visitors to opt for an attorney
upon the recommendation of friends, acquaintances in the international community, or simply by
looking through the phone book. Although these may not necessarily be bad resources, I believe an
individual should proceed cautiously in finding qualified legal assistance. Not every case is identical,
so while your friend may endorse an attorney wholeheartedly, that attorney may still lack expertise in
the specific situation you face.

Unlike most fields of law, the location of your immigration lawyer is not nearly as important as you
might think. Immigration law is strictly federal in nature. That means it is basically the same across
the country and a lawyer in one state is practicing under the same system as in every other state.
Immigration law is almost entirely administrative as well. That means that most petitions are
submitted by mail and personal appearances by an immigration lawyer are becoming less and less

Making Initial Contact

Once you have made initial contact with an attorney you should be prepared to interview him/her as
you would any job applicant. Depending on your priorities, and if money is a source of concern (and
for most international visitors it is), you should ask if there is an initial consultation fee. Some
attorneys do not charge a consultation fee, others may have a special dispensation for students, and
still others may bill you for the time they spend talking to you or charge a set consultation fee. As a
potential client you must decide whether the initial consultation fee is a concern to you. I also suggest
that you attempt to speak with the attorney prior to your consultation. This phone contact allows both
you and the attorney to assess the merits of your case and to discuss the general fees involved on a
preliminary basis. It allows you to assess the breadth of knowledge the attorney has in immigration
law, determine whether they can establish an initial report, have your general questions answered,
and learn about fees. Most attorneys allow for some preliminary discussion but are reluctant to go
further due to time constraints and the need to know all the facts before rendering a full legal opinion.

Meeting the Attorney

At this initial meeting, the attorney will interview you regarding your various immigration options. You
should also take this time to interview the attorney. The most frequent question an attorney is asked
is how long he/she has been in practice. The answer may not always be indicative of the breadth of
knowledge, as those in practice for many years may have become complacent, and those brand new
may be very keen to increase their knowledge, and provide you with zealous representation. The
more pressing question, I believe, is how committed the attorney is to the field of immigration law. Try
to ascertain what the attorney does to keep apprised of recent developments, which is crucial in the
ever-changing immigration field. Ask your attorney if he/she is a member of the American Immigration
Lawyers Association (AILA). Ask your attorney whether he/she is active in various organizations
concentrating in immigration law, attends immigration conferences, speaks at conferences, or has
published articles on immigration. I strongly believe that you may gain an advantage by retaining an
attorney who is active in the field. Such activity is usually a good sign of his/her dedication to his/her

In addition to the level of dedication to immigration law, try to ascertain whether your attorney has a
particular area of concentration in immigration law. Immigration law can basically be separated into
family-based, employment-based and deportation-based practices. While the lawyer may be familiar
with all aspects of immigration law, he/she probably has strengths in some areas. If you are seeking
an H-1B visa, you want to know that H-1B petitions are your attorney’s strong suit.

An initial discourse allows you to discover the attorney’s commitment to the field. When you question
an attorney about his/her livelihood, note whether he/she truly enjoys the work. This passion will be
replayed in gestures, intonation and ease in discussion of the parameters of immigration law as they
relate to you. Obviously, the attorney’s work product will reflect such zeal, whereas those whose work
is perfunctory may perform adequately, but may not stay abreast of changes that could have an
impact on your case.

Another concern I urge you to raise is internal office protocol. Ask whether the attorney will do the
work himself/herself, or whether your case will be allocated to another attorney or paralegal. If so,
you should ask to meet that person. If the work is allocated, with whom will you have contact? Find
out general information about that person too. The answers to these questions should make you feel
comfortable. Otherwise your search for an attorney should continue.

Pay attention to a law firms marketing and promotional materials. Are they professional and polished
or do they make the firm appear to be “fly-by-night.” How the firm presents itself to its clients and
potential clients may be an indicator of how the firm will present itself – and, consequently, you – to
the USCIS.

Pay close attention to the ethics of your attorney. Run as fast as you can from lawyers that tell you it
is okay to lie or otherwise act dishonestly in your case. Aside from the obvious questions of morality,
you are risking jail time and potential lifetime banishment from the United States.

Be weary of attorneys who promise too much. There are actually immigration lawyers out there who
swear they have never lost a case even after a lengthy career. Be nervous about lawyers who
promise success. A lawyer who honestly presents the risks is worth a lot more. Likewise, be very
weary of attorneys who claim to have special influence with the government. Also beware of lawyers
who speak too negatively of the competition. If the lawyer is worthy, they can stand on their own
record rather than tearing down the record of competitors.

More Specific Questions You Will Want To Ask Include:

Do you take individual clients?

Many attorneys deal almost exclusively with corporate clients. This not only precludes an individual
from retaining the services of many attorneys, but also limits the variety of cases such attorneys are
accustomed to dealing with. By locating an immigration attorney whose clientele consists largely of
individual clients, you will increase your chances of receiving personal attention in a manner that’s
appropriate to your particular situation.

Are you familiar with student needs?

If you are dealing with an immigration matter related to your education, make sure that the
immigration lawyer has considerable experience in this area. The law provides a number of options
tailored expressly for students, and retaining an immigration lawyer who routinely handles such cases
will ensure that you have access to the most current options in immigration law.
How do you set fees?

Most immigration attorneys work on a flat fee basis, though in many matters, hourly billing or
contingency billing may be done. If an attorney prices way outside of the market – either on the high
of the low side – this should be a source of concern. The lawyer may not have any idea how much
work is really involved in the case. Or the lawyer may simply be attempting to gouge. A lawyer who
quotes a price too low may also be able to price that way because the work is being pushed down to
the level of a legal assistant or very junior associate. There are great lawyers who charge more and
lawyers who operate extremely efficiently who can charge less. But comparison shopping will serve
you well.

Have you ever had disciplinary action taken against you?

You will want to find out if the attorney has ever been disciplined by the Board of Professional
Responsibility of the state bar. This is an obvious sign of problems.

How do you communicate with your clients?

The number one complaint against attorneys in this country is not poor work quality. It is failing to
communicate with their clients. You are paying a lot of money to hire a lawyer and it is your right to
expect to be kept informed of the developments and have your calls and emails returned in a timely
manner. On the other hand, there is still such a thing as excess and calling your lawyer everyday to
find out what is happening on your case is not necessarily fair either.

At the end of the day, making yourself an educated consumer of legal service will improve your
chance for your case to be managed successfully. That means learning as much as you can about
immigration law so that you can work with your lawyer to achieve the best solution possible for your
case. It also will help you make sure that you are hiring a lawyer that really knows his/her stuff.

NOTE: UC International Services will prepare your H-1B, TN or O employment petition if you
will be working at the University of Cincinnati. We will also process your request for
permanent residence if you are a faculty member or qualify for the outstanding
Professor/Research category. Please consult our handouts or our website for further
information about these services.

E:\Advice on choosing an immigration attorney

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