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How can I Prepare for My Appointment With A Lawyer?

By Michael Brooks-Jimenez

During these times, many people are searching for advice from an immigration lawyer or a lawyer for Latinos. That's why so many immigration lawyers have such a full agenda and possibly only a limited time to assist you. If you've never had an appointment with an attorney, its possible that you'll arrive with little preparation and will be unable to take full advantage of your opportunity at obtaining legal counsel. 

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How can you make the most out of your consultation with a lawyer? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Prepare a brief history of your case

Try to neatly and legibly write the most relevant details of your case on a page. This will help you elaborate your ideas and better communicate with your attorney. It's important to include key details such as:

  • Full name on those involved in the case/dispute.
  • Date the dispute or problem began
  • Type of dispute (divorce, harassment, contract)
  • Key events of the dispute, including Who, What, Where, When and Why, as well as the current status of the dispute.

2. Write down your questions

How Can I Prepare For My Appointment With A Lawyer?It is not uncommon, between the anxiety surrounding your case and all the new information you are going to receive, for you to forget some questions you had for your lawyer. Avoid this headache by preparing a list of questions that are important to you when you are are home and still clearly remember what it is you want to know. For example:

  • Could I be deported?
  • What are my option for obtaining legal status?
  • What is the worst-case scenario?
  • What should my next steps be?

3. Carry a folder with important documents and/or evidence for your case

Save time by taking all the documents you have that may be relevant to your case. This way your lawyer will not have to wait for you to send them over and yout won't have to go to the respective offices to aquire the necessary files, which would cost you more time and money.

In addition to your identification documents and contact information, try to bring copies and originals of the following documents:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Copies of immigration records and work permits
  • Any letter or official communication you have received from the USCIS (Immigration and Citizenship Service)
  • Any reports you have made to the police, even if they are not related to the case
  • If you have committed any crime, bring the court's disposition, fingerprint reports and your file

Following these three steps will ensure that your visit next visit with your lawyer will be a success, and that your case will be attended to as soon as possible.

Para leer esta nota en Español, haga clic aquí.