Immigration law can be a rewarding career choice for those interested in human rights issues and working with people from different cultures. This legal specialty often intersects with other areas of law such as criminal, constitutional and civil rights laws and family law. Learn more.

Immigration attorneys assist clients with obtaining visas and green cards by ensuring that all documents and applications are filled out correctly. They also help with the reapplication process in cases where initial applications were denied.

Knowledge of the Law

Immigration attorneys have a broad knowledge of the law and are well-versed in the latest rules, regulations and policies surrounding visa applications, citizenship applications and deportation proceedings. They are also able to quickly recognize and identify any changes that could impact clients.

Noncitizens who hire an attorney to represent them in matters before the EOIR and USCIS have a due process right to competent representation. But not all attorneys are created equal, and sometimes noncitizens experience ineffective assistance of counsel.

The work of an immigration attorney can be emotionally challenging, particularly for those who represent immigrants who’ve experienced a traumatic event. It is important for these lawyers to be able to separate their professional lives from their personal ones so they can maintain a healthy state of mind.

Communication Skills

Immigration lawyers must be able to communicate with clients, paralegals and legal assistants, as well as people in government agencies. This includes verbal communication skills and the ability to write clearly. They must also have excellent attention to detail because even small errors can have serious consequences for their clients.

Additionally, immigration attorneys must be able to understand and interpret complex laws and regulations. They must stay up-to-date on any changes in immigration policies that could affect their clients’ cases. They must also have the ability to think creatively and find solutions that help their clients’ situations.

To develop these skills, immigration attorneys should seek out internships, part-time jobs and volunteer opportunities with organizations that deal with immigration issues. They should also pursue any certifications they can obtain to increase their chances of landing a job in this field. To organize all of their work, immigration attorneys should use case management software like Clio. This will allow them to focus on assisting their clients as they navigate the complicated process of becoming a citizen.

Analytical Skills

Immigration attorneys are constantly analyzing the facts of each case, weighing the pros and cons of various legal strategies and determining how best to proceed. This is a complex job that requires the ability to think critically and solve problems creatively.

Those considering a career as an immigration attorney should seek out internships, part-time jobs and volunteer activities that allow them to gain experience in the field. Obtaining hands-on work will help them understand the work involved, build relationships with potential employers and clients and stay up to date on immigration law changes and policies.

It is also important that immigration lawyers have a strong sense of empathy and compassion for those they represent. These individuals are often facing some of the most difficult parts of their lives, so being able to listen to them with care and provide support is essential for success. They should also have reliable research skills to identify available resources, assess their quality and relevance, and create a strategy for addressing each issue.

Interpersonal Skills

The work of an immigration attorney often brings them into contact with clients who are facing serious and complex issues. They may help people who are struggling with the separation of families or whose dream to start their own business has been crushed by legal obstacles. Having the interpersonal skills to empathize and understand what these individuals are going through is essential for an immigration lawyer to be successful.

Similarly, they need to be able to provide comfort and support to their clients as they guide them through the process of applying for visas or green cards. They will also need to be able to assist them with appeals or reapplications of their cases when necessary.

Employer job listings and resumes of people who have held the position of Immigration Attorney often list Bilingual, Immigration Law, Compliance, Analysis, Spanish Speaking and Paralegal as important skills or requirements for the role. However, it is less common for candidates to include Appeals and Legal Research as keywords in their applications.