Immigration Law

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JoeMo
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby JoeMo » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:48 pm

blank403 wrote:sorry if you don't think my information is relevant, Joe, but

(1) I think it is, see explanation above

&

(2) this isn't your thread.


ETA: edited for formatting


I apologize and digress, didn't see where you mentioned that it was the pro bono work that could be of interest. In that case, what "blank403" said.

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JoeMo
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby JoeMo » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:53 pm

I'm going to elaborate just a tiny bit to see if I could help make sense of my agreement with blank.

I, personally, also have a strong interest in immigration law a lot of it has to do with my background and such factors. I also really like human trafficking related subjects among a few other "PI" type things. My thought process is, I want biglaw. I want biglaw because I believe in corporate work. I also want it because I'd love the opportunity to be able to pay back my student loans and not have to rely on LRAP or IBR to take care of that for me.

However, I've always thought that the type of work I mentioned having a strong interest in is the type of thing I would like to do when the opportunity to do pro bono work materializes. This way, I'm not relying on that type of work to be my livelihood and if I can get personal enjoyment and rewards out of it, then so be it. But I'm not frustrated by the lack of income they produce while I'm doing it. Perhaps 3L's and associates and even partners might disagree that this is even a possibility. I don't know, I haven't done enough research to really know this and plan on figuring this out during 1L year by talking to some people that know if this is possible.

My opinions previously ITT were based solely on the fact that I was under the impression that OP was shooting directly for "shitlaw" and did not want to even consider biglaw. But props to blank for presenting the relevant information and giving OP an alternate option.

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badfish
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby badfish » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:52 pm

Whichever idiot said immigration law isn't particularly complex clearly has no idea what the fuck they're talking about.

tarp
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby tarp » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:34 am

Yeah, I kind of addressed that on the second reply. It's an area of law full of pitfalls and inconsistencies, courtesy of the United States Congress and our wonderful executive branch.

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JoeMo
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby JoeMo » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:23 am

badfish wrote:Whichever idiot said immigration law isn't particularly complex clearly has no idea what the fuck they're talking about.


I don't know how I missed that gem.

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badfish
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby badfish » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:38 am

tarp wrote:Yeah, I kind of addressed that on the second reply. It's an area of law full of pitfalls and inconsistencies, courtesy of the United States Congress and our wonderful executive branch.


Don't forget SCOTUS and their willingness to grant the federal government "plenary power" over immigration despite their inability to define its source.

tarp
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby tarp » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:48 am

Don't get me started on plenary power... complete and utter b.s. especially where it interferes with the right of U.S. citizens to be in the company of their spouses, children, etc. Plenary power is a judicial fabrication with no basis in reality.

LawperaMan
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby LawperaMan » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:48 pm

What do you want to do in immigration law? As other people said, the bigger firms that have immigration departments tend to handle corporate clients. If you are interested in getting visas for artists, athletes, scientists, business professionals and the like, I would aim for schools in major cities since that is where the bulk of that work lies.

If your focus is helping individuals and families, particularly from Latin America, I would look at schools in communities where those issues are particularly prevalent. Places like Miami, Texas, NM, AZ, and to a lesser extent cities like NYC and LA...going to school in those states will probably lead you to connections with firms or other solo practitioners who do that kind of work.

marksen
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby marksen » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:27 am

deleted

RoaringMice
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby RoaringMice » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:06 am

LawperaMan wrote:If your focus is helping individuals and families, particularly from Latin America, I would look at schools in communities where those issues are particularly prevalent. Places like Miami, Texas, NM, AZ, and to a lesser extent cities like NYC and LA...going to school in those states will probably lead you to connections with firms or other solo practitioners who do that kind of work.


There can also be quite a lot of business in this field outside of the major metro areas as well, and I see the potential for opportunity, as these other cities are often underserved. For example, in NY State, there's a lot of immigration work to be done in Middletown and Newburgh, NY - secondary cities with major immigrant populations. So if you'd prefer to work and live outside the major metro areas, there could be opportunity to do so.

dreamofNYC
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby dreamofNYC » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:04 am

I'm going to law school in Sept. (Brooklyn Law or Fordham, not sure yet) and interested in specializing in immigration law. Looking to get people's thoughts on job prospects for immigration lawyers if immigration reform gets passed? I am hearing that the new regulations will create new business, especially in the area of E-Verify.

donewithannarbor
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby donewithannarbor » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:07 am

http://law.newark.rutgers.edu/clinics/i ... hts-clinic
http://law.shu.edu/ProgramsCenters/Publ ... Clinic.cfm

Should be considered for anyone interested in this field, particularly in representation of poor immigrants. The demand is huge but the payout is inevitably low. Go someplace good that will minimize your debt and open doors through clinic work (that's why I reference the two schools above). God bless and Godspeed to all who go into this challenging but important field.

dreamofNYC
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby dreamofNYC » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:40 am

donewithannarbor wrote:http://law.newark.rutgers.edu/clinics/immigrant-rights-clinic
http://law.shu.edu/ProgramsCenters/Publ ... Clinic.cfm

Should be considered for anyone interested in this field, particularly in representation of poor immigrants. The demand is huge but the payout is inevitably low. Go someplace good that will minimize your debt and open doors through clinic work (that's why I reference the two schools above). God bless and Godspeed to all who go into this challenging but important field.


Wow thank you so much for the kind response and for the links. I got into Bklyn and Fordham, so I guess I will stick to these programs. Not sure which one I'll pick eventually. Both of these schools have strong clinics in immigration, and I plan to take advantage of that experience. I plan to start my own practice immediately after graduation. I would love to connect with like-minded folks, and this is a great forum with very helpful and generous contributors. :)

Yogibreeze
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby Yogibreeze » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:59 pm

I have completed my first year of law school and did very well and am debating on whether to continue two more years to graduation or pursue something else. I am interested in Immigration law but have heard so many differing opinions on whether I would be able to have a decent livlihood from practicing in this area. Any insights your could share would be greatly appreciated!

caic517
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby caic517 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:29 pm

Yogibreeze wrote:I have completed my first year of law school and did very well and am debating on whether to continue two more years to graduation or pursue something else. I am interested in Immigration law but have heard so many differing opinions on whether I would be able to have a decent livlihood from practicing in this area. Any insights your could share would be greatly appreciated!


There are many factors that may affect whether you'll have a decent livelihood from practicing immigration law (IL). To name a few (and this is me speaking based on my own experience and the experience of other attorneys that I know of or worked with):

(i) specific area(s) within IL and your experience with each;
(ii) your target client base, and to a degree, their ability to pay/how much they can pay;
(iii) where you work (geography and market);
(iv) your ability to market;
(v) your reputation (your work product track record, have you won any big cases, published any books or articles, gone on TV/radio/youtube, etc.);
(vi) your competition/competition's reputation;
(vii) your level of fluency in other languages;
(viii) your ability to manage hard deadlines and substantial caseloads; and
(ix) current trends/changes in immigration law and policy.

I practice immigration law as an attorney at a 2 lawyer firm. I have been practicing for 4-5 years. I started off working as a legal assistant -> associate at a small immigration firm (most are like this, with the exceptions of certain big firms like Fragomen or immigration departments in big law firms), which did not pay much. Then, after about 2 years, I left and started my own firm. The experience I gained from my previous firm was invaluable. It was just what I needed for my market client base (Chinese), and I work on the West Coast, where there's a large number of Chinese. Marketing was tough at first, but after some successful work product, I was starting to build a track record and a level of confidence. It helped that I was able to speak/write Chinese fluently. It gives Chinese clients an added level of comfort and confidence. It also helped that I did not have too much competition.

That said, I have a lot to continue to improve upon, and a lot to learn from much better immigration attorneys. Yes, there are many immigration attorneys, and yes, the bar for becoming one is set relatively low, but a good immigration attorney, generally speaking, really stands out. The depth of research, analysis, writing, attention to detail, advocacy, client/case management etc. is all substantially better than someone who has not put forth that kind of effort.

How good you are at immigration law will eventually reflect how much you earn. I do not know what your expectations are for a "decent livelihood," but I currently earn around 180k+. Is it comparable to BigLaw for same amount of years as an attorney, nope. Is it enough to live satisfactorily? For sure.

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Subban_Fan
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby Subban_Fan » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:00 am

caic517 wrote:
Yogibreeze wrote:I have completed my first year of law school and did very well and am debating on whether to continue two more years to graduation or pursue something else. I am interested in Immigration law but have heard so many differing opinions on whether I would be able to have a decent livlihood from practicing in this area. Any insights your could share would be greatly appreciated!


There are many factors that may affect whether you'll have a decent livelihood from practicing immigration law (IL). To name a few (and this is me speaking based on my own experience and the experience of other attorneys that I know of or worked with):

(i) specific area(s) within IL and your experience with each;
(ii) your target client base, and to a degree, their ability to pay/how much they can pay;
(iii) where you work (geography and market);
(iv) your ability to market;
(v) your reputation (your work product track record, have you won any big cases, published any books or articles, gone on TV/radio/youtube, etc.);
(vi) your competition/competition's reputation;
(vii) your level of fluency in other languages;
(viii) your ability to manage hard deadlines and substantial caseloads; and
(ix) current trends/changes in immigration law and policy.

I practice immigration law as an attorney at a 2 lawyer firm. I have been practicing for 4-5 years. I started off working as a legal assistant -> associate at a small immigration firm (most are like this, with the exceptions of certain big firms like Fragomen or immigration departments in big law firms), which did not pay much. Then, after about 2 years, I left and started my own firm. The experience I gained from my previous firm was invaluable. It was just what I needed for my market client base (Chinese), and I work on the West Coast, where there's a large number of Chinese. Marketing was tough at first, but after some successful work product, I was starting to build a track record and a level of confidence. It helped that I was able to speak/write Chinese fluently. It gives Chinese clients an added level of comfort and confidence. It also helped that I did not have too much competition.

That said, I have a lot to continue to improve upon, and a lot to learn from much better immigration attorneys. Yes, there are many immigration attorneys, and yes, the bar for becoming one is set relatively low, but a good immigration attorney, generally speaking, really stands out. The depth of research, analysis, writing, attention to detail, advocacy, client/case management etc. is all substantially better than someone who has not put forth that kind of effort.

How good you are at immigration law will eventually reflect how much you earn. I do not know what your expectations are for a "decent livelihood," but I currently earn around 180k+. Is it comparable to BigLaw for same amount of years as an attorney, nope. Is it enough to live satisfactorily? For sure.


I've noticed that many of the law firms that do the on-boarding for immigrant visas for the major tech companies aren't the immigration departments at BigLaw firms. Any idea on why this is and how much these immigration boutiques make off these accounts?

Also, do you ever mix in criminal matters? I've noticed a lot of the young techies tend to party too hard sometimes.

caic517
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby caic517 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:59 pm

Subban_Fan wrote:I've noticed that many of the law firms that do the on-boarding for immigrant visas for the major tech companies aren't the immigration departments at BigLaw firms. Any idea on why this is and how much these immigration boutiques make off these accounts?

Also, do you ever mix in criminal matters? I've noticed a lot of the young techies tend to party too hard sometimes.


I think a lot of these tech companies don't use BigLaw imm departments due to cost. One of my friends works at a boutique immigration firm that primarily handles H-1B for tech companies. Their firm is around 3-6 lawyers and 3-4 paralegals, and they handle thousands of H-1B petitions during cap season, at around $500-$800 per filing.

Our firm doesn't handle criminal matters, but we do work very closely with a traffic/DUI attorney who handles cases of techies and other foreigners (students or employees) who get pulled over after too many drinks and/or drugs.

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pancakes3
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:20 pm

caic517 wrote:
Subban_Fan wrote:I've noticed that many of the law firms that do the on-boarding for immigrant visas for the major tech companies aren't the immigration departments at BigLaw firms. Any idea on why this is and how much these immigration boutiques make off these accounts?

Also, do you ever mix in criminal matters? I've noticed a lot of the young techies tend to party too hard sometimes.


I think a lot of these tech companies don't use BigLaw imm departments due to cost. One of my friends works at a boutique immigration firm that primarily handles H-1B for tech companies. Their firm is around 3-6 lawyers and 3-4 paralegals, and they handle thousands of H-1B petitions during cap season, at around $500-$800 per filing.

Our firm doesn't handle criminal matters, but we do work very closely with a traffic/DUI attorney who handles cases of techies and other foreigners (students or employees) who get pulled over after too many drinks and/or drugs.


those H1B boutiques hire dozens of seasonal contract "clerks" for cap season who are just recent grads who don't have a job and/or bar passage to do most of the dirty work for them.

caic517
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby caic517 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:40 pm

pancakes3 wrote:those H1B boutiques hire dozens of seasonal contract "clerks" for cap season who are just recent grads who don't have a job and/or bar passage to do most of the dirty work for them.


^Truth. Seeing their work product gives me heartburn.

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Subban_Fan
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby Subban_Fan » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:50 am

caic517 wrote:
Subban_Fan wrote:I've noticed that many of the law firms that do the on-boarding for immigrant visas for the major tech companies aren't the immigration departments at BigLaw firms. Any idea on why this is and how much these immigration boutiques make off these accounts?

Also, do you ever mix in criminal matters? I've noticed a lot of the young techies tend to party too hard sometimes.


I think a lot of these tech companies don't use BigLaw imm departments due to cost. One of my friends works at a boutique immigration firm that primarily handles H-1B for tech companies. Their firm is around 3-6 lawyers and 3-4 paralegals, and they handle thousands of H-1B petitions during cap season, at around $500-$800 per filing.

Our firm doesn't handle criminal matters, but we do work very closely with a traffic/DUI attorney who handles cases of techies and other foreigners (students or employees) who get pulled over after too many drinks and/or drugs.


caic517, thanks for the reply. I've got a couple questions for you.

How would I get a job at one of these firms as a recent grad? They seem very insular with their hiring. I've seen some posting for contract or temporary positions that involve appearance in immigration court, but they require experience. Should I give networking at AILA a shot or would that not be helpful?

How are they scoring the accounts from the tech companies, are the tech companies pretty loyal to their firms? I'd imagine doing H1-Bs for a company like Amazon could alone financially sustain multiple small immigration firms.

dreamofNYC
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby dreamofNYC » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:51 am

You should definitely become an AILA member, and go to all their conferences! They have a lot of online resources that you could use to get yourself up-to-speed on any immigration-related issues. Also, the network of immigration attorneys you will be developing is invaluable. In terms of hiring, big firms need to see experience, because you need to be able to run with the ball on day 1 and turn out large volume of cases in very short period of time and earn the firm revenue... they will not train you on the job, you need to function at the required standard on day 1. Did you do any immigration-related internships while you were in law school? They can help in demonstrating experience.

caic517
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Re: Immigration Law

Postby caic517 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:48 pm

Subban_Fan wrote:caic517, thanks for the reply. I've got a couple questions for you.

How would I get a job at one of these firms as a recent grad? They seem very insular with their hiring. I've seen some posting for contract or temporary positions that involve appearance in immigration court, but they require experience. Should I give networking at AILA a shot or would that not be helpful?

How are they scoring the accounts from the tech companies, are the tech companies pretty loyal to their firms? I'd imagine doing H1-Bs for a company like Amazon could alone financially sustain multiple small immigration firms.


Glad I could help. As dreamofNYC mentioned, definitely network at AILA events. AILA attorneys are generally very helpful and eager to help new/young attorneys, law students, and recent grads. Not to mention, there's other resources that you could gain from AILA.

In terms of hiring,my experience is that smaller immigration firms hire when they need new employees. I would suggest applying to as many firms in the city/region where you would like to practice, as well as in the areas of immigration law which interest you. Once you have gained some experience, along with networking at AILA and other events, your experience and networking would open additional opportunities to you.

As dreamofNYC mentioned, big law firms expect you to have at least a couple years of experience before you apply. Adding to that, many immigration attorneys of these big firms also attend AILA events and are on the AILA mailing lists. If you network regularly, and have built up some experience in the areas of immigration that you enjoy or plan to work on long-term, then I'm sure you'll get the attention of these attorneys for potential job opportunities.

Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with contract/temp positions moving into permanent positions, so I would not be able to help you there.




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