If you want to hire an immigration lawyer in the USA, you will find that the cost of their services varies greatly. Some ask tens of thousands of dollars for one thing. Rates of major immigration firms usually are in the range of 8 to 10 thousand dollars. The so-called “low-paid lawyers” are asking up to 5 thousand dollars for one case, for example, the asylum, writes Politadvice.
But what if you have no money for a lawyer, and even a small fee for the average defender is too big? You can conduct business on its own (usually not a good idea), or contact pro bono (public defender).
Pro bono (short for “pro bono publico”) is a Latin phrase meaning “for the public good”. In the modern context, this means that the lawyer will do the work for free, not requiring the customer’s money.
There are three different types of public lawyers:
Lawyers working Pro Bono.
Lawyers of the law schools.
Private attorneys who voluntarily help in your free time.
An extensive list of such organizations can be found on the website of the Department of immigration control (EOIR). The Agency effectively manages the immigration courts of the country. List filtered by state, which is quite convenient when searching. If you do not see your location click on the next state and see charitable organizations around your region. American Association of immigration lawyers (Association of private and non-lawyers) has a similar and probably a more complete list. Many of the organizations represented in these lists are free. Some of them charge a “nominal fee” (although, they say that in some cases required a “nominal fee” in the thousands of dollars, but it is rather the exception than the norm). It is worth noting that most of these organizations will not take the case, if you are confident that you will be able to pay for the services.
The main drawback of charity organizations is that they can be busy and time for the hearing of your case is simply not there. In particular, this concerns cases where it is necessary the case in the shortest possible time. If you are lucky to get help from charities, they will help you with your own resources or find volunteers who will work under their supervision. Non-profit organizations excellent train and supervise volunteer lawyers, so in most cases you get a good representative within their business.
How you can obtain support one of these charities? It is often very difficult. You will need to give them a call, email, personally visit a number of organizations until you find one that will be ready to help you. Here you need to be persistent and check all options. If one organization cannot take your case, find out if they can recommend someone else. Sometimes it may seem that the search of a lawyer to a charitable organization similar to a full-time job. But those who strive, often find a good representative.
Other free performances are at law school. Many of them have a program in which professors in law to supervise law students on the basis of real cases. The students do all the actual work on the case. This list (in Excel format) from the Law Professors Blog Network (a network of blogs by law professors) is a great option of somewhere to start. In addition, if you try to enter in a search engine request “Law School Immigration Clinic” and add the name of the city you will also be able to find some kind of result. Again, these schools receive a large number of requests for assistance and resources, as well as charities, they are also limited. It is therefore sometimes difficult to find someone who could take on your case.
If you are represented by law school, you will work mainly with students, as the aim of the school is to provide experience to students by working with real cases. And here comes the obvious question – whether law students adequately represent the applicant in the case. However, the lack of experience students are filled with enthusiasm and energy. Observations also show that the work of these schools is positive. One of the main problems when looking for a defender in such schools is that the time of the case should match the schedule of the institution. Sometimes this leads to delays, or, on the contrary, the accelerated consideration of the case.
Many law firms practice program, which will help you for free. Most often clients come for such programs through charitable organizations, but firms can communicate with people directly. If you have friends in a law firm (or friends of friends), you can learn about such programs. If the lawyer is not familiar with the issues in cases on your topic, it will likely be to work with one of the nonprofit organizations that will control its operation. Typically, charitable organizations are happy to cooperate with the lawyers-volunteers.
Often find the public defender of rights can be difficult. Available resources are limited, and wanting very much. But if you actively look for all possible options to find a good lawyer you get.
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