Tips for Finding a Good Immigration Lawyer for Your Case

Updated February 16, 2024
5 min read
Tips for Finding a Good Immigration Lawyer for Your Case

The crucial role an adept immigration lawyer plays in the positive outcome of a case seeking immigration benefits — including visas, protection against deportation, or even citizenship — is particularly apparent when navigating through complex immigration law. As such, finding the right attorney is critical. While numerous lawyers nationwide exist, this competence varies, and there is also an influx of non-lawyers attempting to provide legal services.

Seek Referrals from Reliable Sources

Often, your social circle is the best initial point of reference. Relatives or friends who have previously engaged in the services of immigration lawyers may have helpful recommendations. Additionally, other attorneys you have engaged with for unrelated cases may be able to refer you to qualified immigration lawyers. Their professional insight is invaluable even if they need a personal connection to suitable candidates.

Reach Out To Lawyer Bar Associations

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a credible resource for referrals to immigration attorneys, with members representing a comprehensive spread of highly qualified professionals nationally. Specializations within immigration, such as political asylum and visas, can help narrow your search within the association based on your specific needs. State and local bar associations also provide resources to connect you with suitable local candidates.

Conduct Online Research

While bar associations can provide significant resources, they may only sometimes suffice. When this happens, the internet becomes invaluable, allowing you to continue your search virtually. This tool is also helpful in conducting background checks on potential attorneys, helping you verify their qualifications and license validity. It allows you to uncover any previous disciplinary action or professional misconduct.

Avoid Scammers

Stay alert for individuals lacking the qualifications but offering legal services, particularly online. Common scammer aliases include 'notaries' or 'immigration consultants.' Remember that while the title of notary may hold legal standing in other countries, in the U.S., their function is to witness legal agreements and not legally practice. 

Contact and Interview Potential Attorneys

After consolidating prospective lawyers from reliable referrals, online resources, and bar associations, proceed by making contact. Reach out with a brief phone call or email using contact details generally available online. Avoid sending generic emails to multiple candidates when reaching out, which can seem unprofessional.

Following successful contact, interview the potential lawyers through brief phone calls. Be prepared to discuss your situation and needs and inquire about their fees and payment options. This preliminary consultation is typically free. Once you find a suitable lawyer, request a written service agreement. If unsuccessful, restart the process. Avoid, at all costs, settling for a less-than-competent attorney.


The right lawyer can drastically enhance the likelihood of success in your case, whether you're dealing with immigration issues or need to divorce an immigrant. Feel free to restart the search process if you are still looking for one who meets your needs, even if you have already selected a lawyer. Addressing the situation appropriately is crucial; don't hesitate to seek assistance elsewhere.

Article by
Mario A. Godoy
Godoy Law Office

Mario Godoy is the founding attorney of Godoy Law Office, a criminal defense and immigration law firm based in Lombard, IL. Throughout his career, Mario has become an expert at guiding documented and undocumented clients with immigration issues through criminal cases.