Does the idea of taking a shot at civil rights issues energize you? Do you like communicating with individuals from different nations and cultures? Is it accurate to say that you are keen on criminal law, civil rights law, constitutional law, family law, entertainment law, education law, sports law, compliance, or business law? Do you want to be a transactional lawyer or fight cases in court?
If the answer to any of any of the above questions is yes, then iot would be a great idea for you to study immigration law because it offers you a basis to speak on behalf of people who are struggling with immigration issues that need to be solved. However, also lets you analyze how the immigration issues will have an effect on your clients life in way beyond the legal problems.
If you want to bring about a change in the world as an immigration lawyer, then it will be beneficial for you to give this article a thorough read to find all the answers to your questions. So, what are you waiting for? Let us dive right in!
Table of Contents
What is an immigration lawyer?
Immigration lawyers are experts who work to solve their client’s legal problems regarding immigration. These issues include those such as getting a nationality and/or getting the client’s visa renewed. Moreover, immigration lawyers must be well-informed on current policies and legal changes that the government may make. They either work individually or as part of a firm.
Immigration lawyers have received training in the legal field revolving around immigration and permanent travel between countries. In addition to this, they can assist refugees in obtaining an asylum, get a legal residential status, and/or get a work visa to work in a huge business company.
As an immigration lawyer, you should have remarkable communication skills and knowledge about the legal policies. An immigration attorney is also responsible to carry out the following tasks:
- Filing immigration paperwork and gathering all required documents
- Showing up in court on behalf of the client and offering legal advice
- Do thorough research and investigation on the case
- Analyze and examine the data properly for every case
Immigration lawyer education
In order to become an immigration lawyer, you first have to get a bachelor’s degree. There is no specific field that you are required to major in. However students who wish to establish their careers in law usually major in subjects as diversified as English, political science, mathematics, and history. Students also prefer to take some foreign language courses asa well as public speaking courses to enhance their skills.
Subsequent to finishing a four year certification, students are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and pass with a score which a graduate school that they apply to would regard adequate.
After the LSAT, you should apply to law schools to get a 3-year J.D. degree. Once you are admitted into a law school, you will take courses in law, court procedures, and ethics. Moreover, you will gain the experience to acquire expertise and concentrate on the courses that will aid you in establishing the skills and knowledge needed for a specific field. At this point students opt for courses related to the field they want to specialize in. Therefore, if immigration law is something that you are serious about and want to practice it in the future, then you should choose courses that revolve around this field.
If you are struggling to figure out what courses to take regarding immigration law, then do not worry. We have your back covered. Following is a list of courses that you can take if you want to specialize in immigration law:
- International human rights law
- Labor law
- Refugee and asylum law
- Racial justice and law
- Immigration law
These courses will allow to do a lot of practical work which will help you improve your skills. Moreover, you are required to do internships with law firms which will add to your experience and expertise. If your university does not offer any course in immigration law, then you can take online courses to improve your knowledge and skills.
After graduating law school, you are quired to take the American Bar Association exam to be accredited as lawyers in your state. Passing the bar examination will also give you the lisence to practice law.
How many years does it take to become an immigration lawyer?
You must remember that becoming an immigration lawyer is not an easy task and will take a lot of years. You first have to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree, followed by a 3-year Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. After finishing the required education to become a lawyer, you will have to clear the bar exam in order to be approved as a lawyer and practice law.
Immigration lawyer school cost
On the off chance that you are intending to go to law school, one of the most significant things that you have to get ready for is the financial weight of managing your education. This will be considerable since you are to spend four years on college education before you can enter a conventional law program. This means that a minimum of seven years will be spent before you can achieve your juris specialist degree. Regarding school costs, a legal counselor will have to dish out more for educational costs and related amounts as compared to a software engineer who just needs a four year certification to step into the professional world.
The average annual tuition for the top law schools can vary from almost $37,000 to about $45,000 a year. In addition to this, you will also have to add your living costs, transportation and personal expenditures. This will almost be around $15,000 to around $20,000 in addition to another $1000 – $2000 for books and other school supplies. Moreover, you might also have to invest in gadgets such a laptop if you do not already have one.
Salary of an immigration lawyer
Although lawyers’ salary varies on the basis of the field they practice in, it is still common knowledge that attorneys earn pretty well, thus ending up with heavy pockets. The average income of a lawyer depends on the services they provide, the type of customers they cater to, and location where you practice law.
As per the U.S. Department of Labor, the average yearly pay for all legal advisors is about $120,000. Those hired by the central government have a top salary of almost $140,000, while pay for state and local government ranges from about $85,000 to $93,000 every year. Legal advisors hired by enormous, corporate law firms or large partnerships will in general earn more than those who work individually or for a not-for-profit association.
Payment is done on either one of the two methods: hourly or flat fee basis. When looking at the hourly pay rate, lawyers earn an average of $55.69. The least paid lawyers earn almost $26.86 while the ones who earn the most make almost $90 every hour. The average salary in America in the top ten highest paid states is as follows.
- District of Columbia – $76.29
- California – $70.22
- New York – $64.72
- Delaware – $64.58
- Massachusetts – $63.89
- New Jersey – $61.88
- Connecticut – $61.57
- Virginia – $59.25
- Texas – $58.26
- Pennsylvania – $54.31
Demand for immigration lawyers
Immigration is a very trendy subject currently as the demand for immigration lawyers is continuously increasing not only in America but also worldwide. Since the United States of America is considered to be the hub of opportunities and a good life, many people want to migrate to the country in order to be able to live the American dream. Moreover, people who are treated poorly in their country due to discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, or politics, also seek to receive asylum. People from famine or war stricken countries also hope for a better life, thus migrating to the USA.
Therefore, since many people are moving to America due to multiple reasons, the demand for immigration lawyers is also rising. Their popularity makes it a great option for you to choose this field. Moreover, you can even help all those in need with your talent and expertise.
Famous immigration lawyers
If you are planning to migrate to America and are in need of a lawyer, you should only hire someone who is the best at what they do. Some of the most famous immigration lawyers and the firms they work for are:
- Elsie Hui Arias – Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP
- Edward Beshara – Beshara P.A.
- Robert Divine – Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz P.C.
- Ignacio Donoso – I.A. Donoso & Associates LLC
- Charles Foster – Foster LLC
- Robert Gaffney – Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney
- Enrique Gonzalez – Fragomen Worldwide
- Jennifer Hermansky – Greenberg Traurig LLP
- David Hirson – David Hirson & Partners LLP
- Kate Kalmykov – Greenberg Traurig LLP
Now that you know about everything related to immigration law, you can step into the world with utmost confidence.