How to Become a Lawyer

How to Be an Immigration Lawyer

An immigration attorney assists clients through the legal process of getting a green card or a visa for living, working or studying in the United States.

Immigration lawyers also represent individuals in conflicts arising between them and US immigration authorities. Immigration law is subject to change, and thus an immigration attorney has to know the ins and outs of the system and present his clients with all legal options they have at a certain moment of their stay in the US.

1. A lawyer must analyze legal issues, apply law to certain circumstances, advocate her client’s case, write and speak clearly, and negotiate effectively. Have in mind these skills, which prove essential for an immigration attorney, and start developing them from an early age. If it means joining your school’s debate club, taking a public speaking class or practicing your writing by contributing to the school’s paper, do what you need in order to strengthen your verbal and writing skills.

2. After finishing high school, enroll in a college or university. You will need a BA degree to apply to law school. Some law schools will look at your high school and college grades, while some will consider only your undergraduate academic records.

3. Buy study materials and take prep courses for the Law School Admissions Test, commonly known as the LSAT. The test evaluates your analytical, synthesizing and logical thinking skills and thus offers law schools a standard measure of the skills prospective students have. Take the LSAT and do your best to get a high score.

4. Choosing a law school will not prove easy, as many good postgraduate programs exist in the United States. Attend recruitment events to get more information about the law school you would like to attend. At these types of events, law schools representatives will answer your questions and give you information you might not find online or in brochures.

5. Apply to the law school or schools of your choice and make a plan to finance your studies. If you have no other options, a student loan will likely prove necessary to get you through three expensive law school years.

6. Use your time in law school wisely. At first you’ll probably find yourself overwhelmed by how much you have to study, but once you understand the system you should try to focus on your specific area of interest. Acquire the knowledge you’ll need as an immigration attorney by taking immigration law courses and studying immigration cases. Undertake an internship with a law firm that deals with immigration issues.

7. Graduate and get your JD degree. Pass the bar examination and you can start practicing law. Advertise yourself as an immigration attorney online, as that is one of the first places where your prospective clients will look for information.