If it’s too good to be true then it is: The Unauthorized Practice of Law

I am angry right now and I’ll tell you why.  I just met with a potential client who wasted significant time and money by obtaining advice from a non-lawyer rather than a qualified immigration attorney.  The person who came to visit me arrived in the US about two years ago and his lawful stay expired about a year and a half ago.  Around the time his status was to expire, he paid several thousand dollars to a non-lawyer who blindly told him to sign a form that that person had prepared that would lead to a work permit in the US.  If it’s too good to be true then it is.  The form that this person signed was an application for a process designed for people who arrived in the US before 1982 (when this particular applicant would have been only a small child).  He was not even remotely eligible for this process.  Non-lawyers prey upon uninformed people by promising them unachievable results for large sums of money and of course, they never deliver.  They call themselves, notaries, notarios, immigration consultants, etc.  The bottom line is that unless they have a law degree that allows them to practice law in the US, they are not qualified to give advice.  State legal bar associations, to differing degrees, seek out these non-lawyers for prosecution.  The State Bar of Texas actively pursues violators of their statute.  The previous link is to an article on their web site related to the unlawful practice of law.  The Florida Bar also pursues violators of Florida law related to this matter.  The bottom line is that people should seek immigration advice only from qualified immigration attorneys.  In my immigration practice, I have a number of cases  devoted to fixing the damage that non-lawyers have done to people’s cases.  Sometimes, the damage is so great that it cannot be fixed.

One thought on “If it’s too good to be true then it is: The Unauthorized Practice of Law

  1. alan shimel

    Bill it is good to see you blogging a little more frequently. I also love it when you get righteous like this!

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