how to be immigration lawyer

by Gabrielle Sipes 9 min read

What Is an Immigration Lawyer?

  • Step 1: Research Immigration Lawyer Career Duties and Education. An immigration lawyer enables immigrants to live and work in the U.S. by helping them ...
  • Step 2: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree.
  • Step 3: Graduate from Law School.
  • Step 4: Pass the Bar Exam.
  • Step 5: Join an Immigration Lawyer Association.

Full Answer

What are the requirements to become an immigration lawyer?

For most people planning to practice law, including immigration law, the JD is the standard degree. But some law school graduates go on to pursue other degrees or credentials requiring additional study, such as the Master of Laws (LLM) or the Doctor of Science of Law/Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD or SJD).

What education is needed to become an immigration lawyer?

Aug 18, 2021 · If you're interested in becoming an Immigration Lawyer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 52.4% of Immigration Lawyers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.8% of Immigration Lawyers have master's degrees. Even though most Immigration Lawyers have a college …

How long does it take to become and immigration lawyer?

Nov 10, 2018 · To become an immigration lawyer, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree from a college or university. At some point towards the end of the four-year program, you will take the law school admissions test (LSAT). The standardized exam assesses a person’s reading comprehension, logical, and verbal reasoning proficiency.

How can I become an immigration attorney?

After completing a bachelor’s degree, an aspiring immigration lawyer must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and apply for acceptance at one of the 200 accredited US law schools. Law schools do not offer specialties in different legal practice areas, although some do offer postgraduate degrees focusing on particular areas of law.

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What skills do you need to be an immigration lawyer?

What are some of the most important skills for Immigration Lawyers to have? Good judgment, creative solution problem-solving abilities, excellent communication skills with customers, the ability to speak in public, compassion and good people skills.

How much do immigration lawyers make in the US?

Salary Ranges for Immigration Lawyers

The salaries of Immigration Lawyers in the US range from $55,870 to $187,200 , with a median salary of $115,820 . The middle 60% of Immigration Lawyers makes between $115,820 and $120,480, with the top 80% making $187,200.

How do I become an immigration lawyer in Canada?

Immigration lawyers must attend law school and complete a three-year degree to become a lawyer. They are also required to complete the bar exam to become legally registered. In addition to their education, many lawyers undergo an internship period with a law firm during, or after, their studies.Mar 13, 2017

Where do immigration lawyers get paid the most?

Highest Paying Cities For Immigration Attorney
CityAvg. SalaryHourly Rate
New York, NY$121,065$58.20
San Francisco, CA$118,912$57.17
Fort Lee, NJ$113,077$54.36
Austin, TX$93,487$44.95
2 more rows

Who is the highest paid lawyer?

Highest paid lawyers: salary by practice area
  • Tax attorney (tax law): $122,000.
  • Corporate lawyer: $115,000.
  • Employment lawyer: $87,000.
  • Real Estate attorney: $86,000.
  • Divorce attorney: $84,000.
  • Immigration attorney: $84,000.
  • Estate attorney: $83,000.
  • Public Defender: $63,000.
Apr 24, 2022

What is the highest paying lawyer job?

Some of the highest-paid lawyers are:
  • Medical Lawyers – Average $138,431. Medical lawyers make one of the highest median wages in the legal field. ...
  • Intellectual Property Attorneys – Average $128,913. ...
  • Trial Attorneys – Average $97,158. ...
  • Tax Attorneys – Average $101,204. ...
  • Corporate Lawyers – $116,361.
Dec 18, 2020

How much do immigration lawyers make in Canada?

$63,375 per year
Find out what the average Immigration Lawyer salary is

The average immigration lawyer salary in Canada is $63,375 per year or $32.50 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $55,000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $98,375 per year.

Is it hard to become a lawyer in Canada?

As difficult as it is to achieve, earning a legal degree is not enough to practice as a lawyer; you must also become licensed. The bar association of each province has a particular set of requirements for you to become certified to practice. The bar examination itself is offered three times a year.

Where can I study immigration law in Canada?

  • McGill University – Montreal, Quebec.
  • University of Victoria – British Columbia. ...
  • L'Universite de Montreal – Quebec. ...
  • University of Toronto – Ontario. ...
  • University of Manitoba – Winnipeg, Manitoba. ...
  • Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University – Halifax, Nova Scotia. ...
  • Queens' University – Kingston, Ontario. ...
Sep 20, 2013

Do immigration lawyers make a lot of money?

However, immigration lawyer salary is typically lower. According to PayScale, the annual salary for lawyers specializing in immigration is ​$69,245​, as of 2020, based on the reporting of nearly 500 attorneys.

What do immigration lawyers do?

Immigration lawyers represent individual and business clients before the USCIS, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in Immigration Courts and the federal circuit courts on issues dealing with immigration, emigration, visas, green cards, adjustment of status, political asylum, and other important immigration and ...

How much do immigration lawyers make in DC?

How much does an Immigration Attorney make in Washington, DC? The average Immigration Attorney salary in Washington, DC is $90,488 as of April 26, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $77,141 and $104,672.

Where did the majority of immigrants come from in 2013?

Large numbers of immigrants also came from Vietnam, China, the Philippines, India and Korea. Immigration to the US from Asian countries has continued to grow for several years and represents the largest group of immigrants to the US.

Who is Jennifer Mueller?

Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.

How often is the LSAT offered?

Send transcripts, letters of recommendations, and resumes to LSAC. Register for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is offered four times a year, in June, September/October, December, and February.

How many times a year is the LSAT?

3. Register for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is offered four times a year, in June, September/October, December, and February. The September/October exam is the final one to take to qualify for fall admission.

What are the first year courses?

Take required first-year courses. Typical first year courses are contracts, torts, Constitutional law, property, and legal writing. Earn good grades, as your grades are important to future employers. ...

What do immigration lawyers do?

Immigration lawyers may represent clients in administrative courts, or they may counsel clients about their legal rights and obligations related to immigration, among other things. They also suggest courses of action based on their knowledge of immigration law.

What skills do immigration attorneys need?

In many situations, strong interpersonal skills are also needed. During any given day in immigration practice, an attorney may work with people who have undergone exceptionally traumatic experiences, including suffering persecution, human trafficking, or torture.

Why is immigration law important?

Because immigration law provides you with a foundation to represent people who have immigration matters to resolve, but it also allows you to recognize how a person’s immigration status might impact them in many seemingly unrelated ways.

What is the American Immigration Lawyers Association?

Another helpful resource is the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a national organization of more than 15,000 attorneys and educators who practice and teach immigration law. This nonpartisan nonprofit provides continuing legal education, information, and professional services.

What are the skills required to become a lawyer?

High-level capabilities in reading and writing are a must, as is the ability to understand and communicate complex concepts and advocate for your client in an adversarial setting. Law schools both seek out these skills in applicants and cultivate them in their students.

What is the American Bar Association?

The American Bar Association (ABA) advises anyone interested in a legal career, regardless of the chosen specialty, to pursue educational, extracurricular, and life experiences that will foster the strengths and abilities needed for success in the legal world.

What is an advanced degree in law?

Advanced degrees are generally pursued by those who hope to teach law or conduct scholarly research.

How much do immigration lawyers make?

Immigration Lawyers in America make an average salary of $93,406 per year or $45 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $178,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $48,000 per year.

What is location quotient?

Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

What is an immigration lawyer?

Immigration Lawyer. Immigration is the act of entering a foreign country to take permanent residence. To become a citizen of another country however, certain guidelines set forth by immigration laws must be followed. Immigration lawyers help individuals from other countries take the steps needed to legally reside in the U.S.

Is immigration a business?

Immigration is serious business and the outcome of the case can significantly impact individuals. The process is also extremely complex, as is the procedure of hiring an immigration lawyer. Even if you have a recommendation from a close source, it is still pertinent to ask the right questions at the initial consultation.

What is a temporary visa?

Temporary visas expire and are issued to people for various reasons, but most commonly to workers and students . Permanent visas, also referred to as “green cards,” allow a person to live in the country permanently, unless of course, they commit a crime and become deportable.

What is a permanent visa?

Permanent visas, also referred to as “green cards,” allow a person to live in the country permanently, unless of course, they commit a crime and become deportable. Immigration laws are so complex that perhaps U.S. tax laws are the only body of laws more complicated.

Is immigration law complicated?

Immigration laws are so complex that perhaps U.S. tax laws are the only body of laws more complicated. In addition, even a minor mistake on paperwork can lead to serious consequences, such as a delay in the case or deportation. Immigration lawyers guide individuals through every step of the immigration process.

What is the LSAT test?

The standardized exam assesses a person’s reading comprehension, logical, and verbal reasoning proficiency. When admitting students, law schools use the LSAT score as one of their determining factors.

Educational Requirements

Before you can go to law school, you are going to need to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university. Although a few US law schools occasionally accept students who have not completed a bachelor’s degree, this practice is the exception rather than the rule.

Law School

After completing a bachelor’s degree, an aspiring immigration lawyer must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and apply for acceptance at one of the 200 accredited US law schools. Law schools do not offer specialties in different legal practice areas, although some do offer postgraduate degrees focusing on particular areas of law.

Admission to the Bar Association

An aspiring lawyer must pass a state bar exam, which covers virtually all major areas of law. The bar exam itself might not contain a single question relating to immigration law. Pass rates range from 44 percent (California) to 79 percent (Missouri). If the candidate fails the exam, he can try again — most states offer the bar exam twice a year.

From High School Graduate to Licensed Attorney

All told, an aspiring immigration lawyer needs a total of seven years of full-time study after high school to obtain a Juris Doctor degree. He will also need a few more months to pass the bar exam and meet local bar association requirements.

Professional Requirements for Immigration Lawyers

Most US law schools offer few if any courses in immigration law. Additionally, immigration law is ignored on my state bar exams and bar review courses. Because of this, and because few immigration cases are published, the typical immigration lawyer’s knowledge comes from hands-on practice experience.

Specialty Certifications and Professional Recognition

Some states offer specialist certification in particular areas of law, and these certifications may require a period of additional study. These certifications do not grant an attorney a superior right to practice law in that specialization. Instead, it reassures his clients that he is knowledgeable in that particular field.

Jurisdictional Freedom

Immigration law is federal law, not state law. As a consequence, obtaining a license to practice law in any state will entitle you to practice immigration law anywhere in the United States without taking the time to join that state’s bar association.

Is it ethical to hire a low value immigration attorney?

A few "high-volume, low value" immigration attorneys prowl the hallways of immigration offices attempting to solicit business. This is not considered ethical behavior by the legal bar. Besides, any good immigration attorney is probably going to be too busy practicing immigration law and working for their clients to spend their time rounding up new clients this way.

Can an attorney guarantee success?

Not even the best attorneys can guarantee success. Ultimately, the outcome of your case is up to an immigration judge, the Department of Homeland Defense and/or USCIS. Any attorney claiming he or she has a 100% success rate and guaranteeing you a particular outcome may need to be more closely evaluated.

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