Friday, 14 February 2020

Immigration Lawyer Fees: How To Get The Best Deal - 5 Tips

Immigration Lawyer Fees

Today I want to write on immigration lawyer fees and how to get the best deal. So we're going to go through 5 secrets on how to get the best deal when working with the immigration lawyer. 

Let's Get Started

1. Work With A Lawyer that Charges A Flat-Fee

With immigration law, there are two prevailing ways that immigration lawyers will bill you. They'll either bill you on a flat fee or they'll bill you on an hourly basis. A flat fee is a pre-identified number to handle the service for you, so for example, for a marriage case, maybe the lawyer fee will be $2,000 and that will be their fee to handle the marriage case. However long it takes them, that's going to be the set fee.

Hourly billing, is when the lawyer will bill you based on the amount of time they work on your case. For example, they'll have an hourly wage, let's say, they charge you $200 an hour, so for every hour they work on your case it's going to be an additional $200. If the case takes them 20 hours, it'll be a set wage, not based on the amount of time they spent or if it'll be 40 hours, that they worked on your case, it'll be a much higher amount based on the hours that they worked on your cases.

My tips for you is to work with a lawyer that charges a flat fee because the fee tends to be lower than if you're working with someone on an hourly basis, and you have more clarity in terms of how much you're going to pay. You don't want to be in a position where you just don't know how much your total legal fees are going to be. You have the peace of mind with a flat fee of knowing exactly how much you're going to pay for the servicer to be completed.

2. Fully Understand What Is included In Your Lawyer Fees

I have seen somebody that says another lawyer quoted them at a lower amount, and you'll come to find that the much lower rate didn't include a very important step in the process.

You need to know what you're paying for and you need to make sure that everything that you want the lawyer to do is included in the fee that they're charging you. For example, in immigration, something that comes up can be a request for additional evidence, USCIS could send you a request to provide more documents. You need to know if under your agreement with your lawyer are they going to cover that in the event that there's a request for additional evidence. 

That's just one thing to understand, another thing that you want to know is whether the fee that they're quoting you on, includes the filing fees for your case. Let's say, you're doing a marriage case, there are two components, there's going to be the lawyer fee, and then there's going to be the filing fees. Those are the fees that USCIS or the visa unit are going to charge to process your application. You want to make sure that you whether or not the fee that you're getting quoted on, includes the filing fees as well as the legal fee.

3. Compare Prices Using Yelp, Avvo, And Google.

The reason I say this is because sometimes I'll hear about these crazy fees that some people have paid to previous attorneys and they're much higher than the norm. In order to avoid having that situation happen, you want to make sure to compare prices using different resources that I listed above. Those are just different channels you can use to search for other immigration lawyers, contact them, and see how much they charge for the service that you're seeking.

4. Don't Be Afraid To Negotiate

I say this, not to drive your immigration lawyers crazy, but within reason, if you get quoted on a fee and it's somewhat out of your range, it can't hurt to ask if your immigration lawyer could potentially be willing to accommodate you in some way to either potentially reduce the fee somewhat, or to potentially put you in a payment plan so that you can break the fee up into installments.

5. Look Beyond The Fees

What I mean by this is that you don't want to be too obsessed with the fee. Lawyer charge different amounts oftentimes to account for their expertise and their experience with certain matters, so you don't want to be so obsessed with the fee, you're choosing between two lawyers and one lawyer has a lot more experience in the particular case that you need help with, and the other may not necessarily have as much experience or be as qualified to handle the case, you don't want to go with the lower fee just because it's a lower fee. You want to take into account all the factors.

If you have somebody that's super qualified to handle the case and their fee is a little higher, you may want to take into account the benefits of working with someone with a lot of experience. The experience of your lawyer, the quality of the work that your lawyer is putting in, plays a major role in your chances of getting a case approved.

If you have to spend a little bit more to work with a much more qualified lawyer that has more experience and is better suited to take the case, it may be a worthwhile investment to go with that lawyer, because, God forbid, should the case gets denied, and you have to redo it and refile it, that's going to be a ton more fees. So it may make more sense for you to invest a little bit more at the outset, to give yourself a better chance of getting your case approved.

Those are the 5 tips for getting the best deal when working with an immigration lawyer, I hope you got some value from it.

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