Building a Strong Attorney-Client Relationship in DC Immigration Cases

Building a strong attorney-client relationship in DC immigration cases can be important because being a potential client requires a lot of trust. In hiring a compassionate immigration attorney, individuals and their families can put their faith in their lawyer’s approach. The first thing I explain is whether their goal is realistic based on the information provided.

The most important consideration for those who are unsure about consulting with an attorney is how much is at stake when trying to obtain the desired immigration benefit. Meeting with an attorney for a consultation and knowing that one’s case is being handled properly can provide invaluable peace of mind. Even if a client elects not to hire an attorney, a consultation with an attorney will allow that client to have a great sounding board with whom the client will be able to confirm that what he or she is doing is correct and that the form they have submitted was accurate and complete.

Important Factors

Trust is an important factor in building a strong attorney-client relationship in DC immigration cases. If a person does not trust their lawyer, they should search for another one. If the potential client does not believe that the attorney is doing everything possible to obtain their desired immigration benefit, someone else will. The client should be informed and aware of what is happening with their case and know what goals are being pursued. That also ties in with an individual’s ability to understand what the attorney is telling them. If there is a lack of comprehension between the individual and the attorney, then neither will enjoy a fruitful relationship. The attorney will not understand for whom they are advocating and for what they are advocating. Most importantly, the individual will not understand if at the conclusion of the representation they did not obtain their desired immigration benefit.

What Happens After the Initial Meeting?

After the initial meeting, the individual and their attorney must have an open dialogue about what is needed from each party and how a case will proceed going forward. There should be a roadmap with case benchmarks that both the attorney and the potential client can follow. Both parties should be aware of what steps are in the process, which step the individual’s case is presently in, and what to expect going forward.

In immigration cases, it is important to have a good relationship with the client because a lot of information stems from client disclosure. All of the relevant information about a client will never be revealed in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request. Potential clients need to feel comfortable with the attorney in order to provide all of the necessary information for the attorney to be a zealous advocate. This is the benefit of building a strong attorney-client relationship in DC immigration cases.

Challenging Cases

In my experience, the most interesting cases have been removal cases. The individual circumstances that have led a person to be placed in removal proceedings are always unique. No two cases have the same facts and each narrative offers a glimpse into who this person is, where they came from, and their aspirations for the future. The most challenging cases are always those in which I do not have client cooperation or all the information I need. The goal is to never be caught off guard by the government exposing something that your client has done or any other information that your client should have provided.

At times, this may not be the client’s fault. If the individual is detained, that person may not have access to all their documents. Other alternatives are scenarios where someone may not be able to communicate with the attorney about what has happened in the past due to language barriers or trauma or the client may have simply been too young to know what was happening with their immigration status.

What is TPS?

I have a lot of individuals that have Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”), that are not in removal proceedings, do not have family members with status, no employers willing to sponsor them and do not have a lawful admission. Unfortunately, these individuals, based on this scenario, are unable to gain lawful permanent resident status. This is why I try to advise potential clients whether their goals are attainable as soon as possible or provide the criteria that might make them eligible in the future.

Importance of Consulting a Lawyer

There is simply too much at stake not to consult with an immigration attorney. Immigration law violations are considered civil offenses, the consequences of failing to abide by US immigration laws can have a catastrophic effect. Although there are times that the process appears straightforward, it is always better to anticipate the pitfalls and the hiccups that may arise. There are certain government agencies that have preferences as to how documents should be submitted, which documents to submit, and with whom to submit them. Building a strong attorney-client relationship in DC immigration cases can provide the peace of mind that an individual’s case will proceed as smoothly as possible.