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How to Build a Family Immigration Law Practice

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There are roughly 16,000 family immigration lawyers and law professors who teach immigration law.

Immigration lawyers help families and businesses navigate the complex laws around immigration. They can appear in front of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of clients, manage paperwork and documentation for immigrants, and represent clients in federal court for immigration issues.

Most of all, immigration lawyers give clients peace of mind. It’s daunting to move to a new country with new customs, laws, and language.

They don’t know if the immigration services are infringing on their rights. A good family immigration lawyer is a trusted person who will fight for them and give them the chance to start a new life.

If that sounds appealing to you, you’ll want to keep reading. Find out what it takes to become an immigration attorney and make a difference in your clients’ lives.

Write a Business Plan

A business plan forms the base of your business. The stronger and more detailed it is, the stronger your business becomes.

The business plan formulates your decisions and strategies. You’ll need to research how many other family-based immigration lawyers there are in your area. Research how many immigrants come to your area or if there are thriving immigrant communities you can connect with.

As you look at the competitive landscape, you’ll need to determine what your positioning is. This is the one sentence that describes who you serve and what makes your law practice unique.

You’ll use this in your marketing messages, so you have to nail this down before anything else. If you don’t have clarity about what sets you apart, you’ll get overlooked because your law firm is just like every other one out there.

The last piece of the business plan is the financial plan. You’re an attorney, but you’ll need to manage the business side of the practice.

You’ll run through start-up expenses, operations expenses, and project revenue. This helps you determine when you’ll break even on the business and become profitable.

Create the Legal Entity for the Business

You may have studied business law in school. This doesn’t mean you have the legal expertise to decide what entity is right for you.

There are liability and tax considerations with the various business entities. You might be in a state that requires you to form an LLP.

Consult with a business attorney to make sure you use the right entity when you register your law practice.

Should You Get an Office?

This is one of the common questions attorneys ask when they start their own law practice. You need to appear professional to give clients confidence in your law practice.

You don’t want to work from home or meet clients in a coffee shop. It may be a little much to rent a commercial space right away.

There are co-working spaces that allow you to rent office space and access meeting rooms. You’ll have a business address and receptionist.

It’s cost-effective and provides networking opportunities with other businesses that rent co-working space as well.

Create Systems to Serve Clients

If everything goes well in your law practice, you’ll be a very busy family immigration lawyer. You’ll need to have the capacity to handle a lot of clients without burning out.

You could compromise the quality of your work if you don’t have the right systems in place. There are suites like Docketwise, Clio, and AbacusLaw that centralize documents.

You probably fill out the same documents repeatedly. Having them in a database that you can easily fill in and customize will save time.

These systems also let you automate tasks.

Family-based immigration attorneys know that relationships are the key to success. You have to build relationships with not just paying clients, but all members of the community.

It’s hard to keep up with relationships when you’re busy working on cases for clients.

These systems help you stay in touch and maintain relationships when you’re on the go.

Use Effective Marketing Strategies

You’ll need to invest in effective marketing strategies that can generate clients immediately. Networking is one way to go about it, but it may take time to develop relationships.

The best way to jump-start your practice is with a search engine marketing campaign. Ads appear at the top of relevant search results.

People will click on the ads and visit a landing page. They can enter information and become a lead for your practice. You can follow up with them and convert them to clients.

Check out this site for more information about getting started with PPC ads.

Get Referrals and Testimonials

Your first clients are your most important ones. They’re the ones that will leave reviews about your immigration law practice and they’ll tell their friends.

They’ll be more likely to provide testimonials about their experience with you.

They might not seem like much, but they provide social proof.

Consumers look for attorneys online. They’ll click on a search result or PPC ad and go to your website. They’ll look at the services you provide.

They’ll want to know that you can help them. Social proof demonstrates that you can get a result for others, and you can help a lot of other people, too.

Put a system in place to ask clients to leave Google reviews and provide testimonials. Send a link to clients to thank them and follow up with them periodically.

Build a Family Immigration Law Practice

You have the potential to help many families start a new life in this country. It means the world to them to have someone advocate on their behalf.

That’s what you can do when you build a family immigration law practice. It takes planning and research, but you’ll have the information you need to make smart decisions to get clients immediately.

For more technical tips and how-to help, check out the other articles on the blog.

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