Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Immigration attorney

Hi, Any immigration lawyers here? What is to be an immig meshuggah10/16/17
Never done it but I interviewed with fragomen when I was in notreallyalawyer10/16/17
Is the offer business immigration law or like family petions dharamsala10/16/17
All of the above. meshuggah10/16/17
Hmmmm... IANAL, but I think the way it breaks down is usuall wolfman10/17/17
I too am interested in this topic/area. isthisit10/16/17
Definitely join AILA. dharamsala10/17/17
I only have experience in immigration. If you are doing depo confused1l9310/19/17
Glad to hear ICE is actually doing their job. oddis50010/19/17
same here... this will actually make immigration attorneys ( wolfman10/19/17
I worked at a small immigration boutique for about two years vladharkonnen10/20/17
Starting Monday my new job Immigration attorney.I hope is le meshuggah10/28/17
Congrats . Kinda wish I had gotten into it out of law school notreallyalawyer10/28/17
Congrats papi. Which state are you practicing out of? I' isthisit10/28/17
The ILRC U visa and VAWA books are indispensable too. dharamsala10/28/17
Congrats on your new job! jeffm10/28/17
I’m in CA. meshuggah10/28/17
meshuggah (Oct 16, 2017 - 3:49 pm)

Hi,

Any immigration lawyers here? What is to be an immigration lawyer? Do you have to write motions, discovery etc. or is more relax than civil litigation? Any input is appreciated. What is your experience going to Immigration Court etc.

I got an offer of 90K annual and wonder should I accept it. I currently make 90K doing civil litigation but very unhappy deadlines, discovery, plaintiff's attorneys acting like dicks.

Thanks

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 16, 2017 - 4:15 pm)

Never done it but I interviewed with fragomen when I was in law school. I took immigration law pre 9-11 but found it one of the most interesting classes I took in law school. Its about story telling making best case why client should get a visa.

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dharamsala (Oct 16, 2017 - 9:02 pm)

Is the offer business immigration law or like family petions/natz/asylum, etc.?

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meshuggah (Oct 16, 2017 - 10:01 pm)

All of the above.

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wolfman (Oct 17, 2017 - 10:01 am)

Hmmmm... IANAL, but I think the way it breaks down is usually removal defense v. petition-based (and that usually is business immig, tough to make a living on fiance visas and such)... but it's usually one or the other pretty much... meaning folks who do removal defense would maybe like to do business immigration, but they don't have the client base, and folks who do business/petitions usually don't do removal defense... but I'll wait for an actual immigration lawyer to chime in...

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isthisit (Oct 16, 2017 - 3:59 pm)

I too am interested in this topic/area.

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dharamsala (Oct 17, 2017 - 11:23 am)

Definitely join AILA.

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confused1l93 (Oct 19, 2017 - 3:32 pm)

I only have experience in immigration. If you are doing deportation defense you will be doing some research and writing. Most of the stuff is pretty cut and paste. However, sometimes the law can get pretty complicates, especially if you are doing crimmigration or appeals. I definitely would say deportation defense is less intense than normal civil litigation. Their are far less procedural rules and opposing counsel is generally a lot more relaxed. However, since the Trump administration, ICE is making things a lot harder than they used to be. ICE wants to adjudicate every single freaking case until the respondent gets a deport order. T

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oddis500 (Oct 19, 2017 - 10:17 pm)

Glad to hear ICE is actually doing their job.

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wolfman (Oct 19, 2017 - 10:36 pm)

same here... this will actually make immigration attorneys (lots of whom think this admin = a bunch of fascists or at least they say they think so in front of their clients) quite a bit of $... ironic...

Or is there any reason why this will not be the case?

Sort of like the insurance defense bar has to publicly support tort reform (because that's what their clients want) when in fact tort reform screws them over as far as billables and rates go IMHO

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vladharkonnen (Oct 20, 2017 - 5:03 pm)

I worked at a small immigration boutique for about two years fresh out of law school. It was extreeeemely more relaxed than civil lit in every way.

I did both petition and deportation defense, as well as some federal district court work for asylum seekers. The petition work is very simple and straightforward. You write short briefs with cut and paste law and spend most of your time developing a nice appendix of evidence, e.g. for marriage cases, it’s literally chasing down joint account statements/bills/pictures of the couple to create a compelling application.

VAWA petitions are very similar with the added element of working with a psychologist to get a declaration proving abuse/trauma etc.

Immigration court is extremely relaxed. DHS attorney’s show up in nearly street clothes and throw a blazer on. Judges (depending on your location) are generally pretty calm and don’t hassle you. Only big issue is when you are doing defense for someone with a criminal record, things can get dicey if they think your client is lying about some element of the crime (especially with things like fraud).

Honestly it’s an enjoyable practice area. Unfortunately it just doesn’t often pay well. If you’re happy with the pay and looking for less stress, I’d say go for it. Only caveat is that you have to be pretty stone hearted - it can get very emotional when people are talking about asylum/VAWA. And obviously dealing w families in deportation defense cases can be stressful.

Edit to add: if you live in a city like LA or NY, immig exp is really great to have. You could easily go solo and make a decent living just doing flat fee agreements for petitions.

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meshuggah (Oct 28, 2017 - 2:03 pm)

Starting Monday my new job Immigration attorney.I hope is less stressfull than defense litigation attorney. I’m fluent in 5 languages and that was the reason they hired me. So far done only litigation.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 28, 2017 - 2:35 pm)

Congrats . Kinda wish I had gotten into it out of law school. Make sure to get the terminology right. It’s called removal, not deportation

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isthisit (Oct 28, 2017 - 4:25 pm)

Congrats papi. Which state are you practicing out of?

I'm competing against notarios in Jersey.

Not necessary but you can grab the Kurzban (it is pricey, maybe your employer will give you one or offset some of the cost) which is like a repository of all Immigration law. You don't need it for simple petition work but you'll crack it open once you get into certain cases like asylum.

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dharamsala (Oct 28, 2017 - 5:08 pm)

The ILRC U visa and VAWA books are indispensable too.

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jeffm (Oct 28, 2017 - 6:15 pm)

Congrats on your new job!

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meshuggah (Oct 28, 2017 - 4:55 pm)

I’m in CA.

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