The immigration process is often smoother and faster when you work with an attorney. Whether you intend to migrate to Bellevue, Washington or Boston, Massachusetts, to process your permanent residency, green card, or other immigration documents, it’s advisable to work with an immigration attorney.
Deciding who to work with can be challenging. Some people may recommend that you work with a small immigration firm or a large one. Choosing the one that aligns with your goals, needs, and circumstances is the best way. But how do you know which law firm does?
Before making a list of Bellevue immigration attorneys or law firms to hire, reading this article will help you understand which will be the best choice for you.
Small vs. large immigration law firms
Working with either a small immigration law firm or a large one has its benefits and disadvantages. A large firm could have up to 50 lawyers or more, while a small one could be just the owner and a few attorneys on the team.
Should you go for the large firm or the small one? It depends. Here’s a comparison of both based on the following:
Your case is more likely to get more attention at a small immigration law firm than at a large one. Smaller firms can often provide one-to-one attention to their clients because they don’t handle many cases simultaneously. Furthermore, there’s a high chance that your first contact with the firm will be with the lawyer you’ll work with.
Often, there’s a hierarchy in large immigration law firms, and the first person you speak with might not be the one who’ll handle your case. Furthermore, they work on many cases and may not focus enough time on yours. Small immigration law firms are better if attention matters to you.
However, you should ask about which immigration attorney will personally work on your case during the consultation with either a small or large immigration law firm.
Easy access and availability
The ease of access and availability at small and large immigration law firms differ. Generally, you’re more likely to experience direct communication if you work with a small law firm. You can speak directly with the attorney working on your case.
In large firms on the other hand, you may have to speak with paralegals, legal assistants, and other office support staff before you can speak directly with the attorney on your case.
Consequently, you may experience delays in getting feedback or information regarding your case. It’s important that you can easily reach your immigration attorney to stay on top of your case.
It’s only normal to think that large immigration law firms will have more experience than small ones. That can be true in some cases because they’re more likely to have handled more immigration cases than a small law firm. With many lawyers on the team, they can wrap up cases in no time.
On the other hand, small immigration law firms don’t have the manpower to handle too many cases at once. However, while large firms may have more experience, there’s more to it.
For example, a large immigration law firm may advertise that they have 50 years of experience. This could be the total of the years of experience of the attorneys working there, not the years they have operated.
In the end, they may assign an attorney who is a recent law graduate to your case. In addition, the attorneys may not have enough experience in cases like yours. However, you’re likely to find an attorney who focuses on and has worked on a similar case in a law firm.
Whether you consult a small or large immigration firm, ensure you ask about the attorney who will work on your case, ask some questions and check their experience.
Small immigration law firms are more budget-friendly than large ones. Large law firms often require more employees and bigger office space, which inevitably leads to high attorney fees.
Furthermore, some small immigration law firms may not ask for upfront charges and are less likely to charge the same high amount as a large firm for the same legal service. Consider your budget when choosing which law firm to work with, and make a list of the ones that fall within it during research or consultation.
Large immigration law firms tend to have better reputations than smaller ones. They’ve been running the firm for years, and their team is growing, so they’re usually more well-known.
However, that can be misleading because their reputation may be based on one or two of their attorneys and not all of their lawyers or the one that will work on your case.
Therefore, confirm which attorney will be assigned to your case and research their reputation. You should do the same for a small firm or research the firm’s reputation before the consultation.
Access to resources
Large immigration law firms and small ones differ in their access to resources. Generally, large firms have more access to financial resources mainly due to large clientele and revenue per client. Therefore, they are financially flexible enough to invest in up-to-date technologies and specialized legal professionals.
Their large size and high revenue give them an edge in tackling complex cases. On the other hand, small immigration law firms don’t have that many clients and may not take in as much revenue to get all desired resources.
Level of personalization
It’s more common to have personalized service with a small law firm. A large immigration law firm will focus more on providing mass legal services and move on to the next cases.
In addition, they have levels of hierarchy and layers of attorneys and support staff, leaving no room for you to develop personal or lasting relationships with any staff or attorney.
On the other hand, smaller firms will customize and personalize their legal services to you. There’s room for direct communication between you and your attorney. Lastly, there’s a higher chance of you speaking to your attorney outside of working hours at a small law firm, which is unlikely with a large one.
Ultimately when choosing which attorney to work with, your choice depends on your needs and circumstances. Choosing a small immigration law firm has its benefits and is affordable. However, they may be lacking when it comes to resources. Therefore, for more complex cases, consider a large law firm.
Lastly, consider speaking to people who have gone through similar situations in the past and ask for recommendations. This will save you time and resources for meeting different lawyers.