Frequently asked questions – Law Firm of Christine Stouffer

Do you offer a free initial consultation?

While we do not offer free in-depth consultations, an attorney or intake specialist will be happy to speak with you for a few minutes to answer any questions you may have about us and to ensure that we can address your questions in a meaningful way. in a deeper consultation. We don’t want to waste your time or money, so we will let you know if your particular issue appears to be beyond the scope of our expertise.

When we meet with you for an initial consultation, the attorney will set aside an hour to take her time and sit down with you to answer any questions you may have, explain immigration laws, and provide you with an honest and thorough evaluation of your options.

How much does the initial consultation cost?

Our consultation fee for a one hour meeting is $ 300.00.

Why do I need an initial consultation? Why can’t you answer my questions over the phone before I go to the office?

Immigration law is complicated. The laws have changed over the years and continue to change frequently. During our initial consultation, we will learn about your unique circumstances in the context of immigration law so that we can provide you with a personalized assessment based on our experience. We will also take time to explain the applicable laws and rules so that you can make the most informed decision for you and your loved ones. Of course, we hope to help you identify the most efficient and cost-effective immigration options, but sometimes it may be the case that we don’t see any viable options for you based on the current state of the law. If this happens, we hope you find it helpful to know that you may have avoided filing something you are not eligible for, wasting time and money, and causing even more complications.

I only have one or two simple questions. Can’t I just ask you my question over the phone before we meet?

For better or for worse, immigration law in the United States is far from simple. Immigration law is complicated to begin with, and to make matters even more complicated, the laws have changed over the years and continue to change constantly. Although immigration law is under the auspices of Federal Law, there are still differences in how the laws are interpreted in the United States. We often hear clients compare their circumstances to those of a friend or loved one. While it is natural to want to, it can be dangerous to make assumptions in this way. Someone may appear similar to you on the surface, but there can be many variables. It is always best to consult with an experienced and reputable immigration attorney to avoid costly mistakes and pitfalls.

Do you offer consultations by phone, Zoom or Skype?

Yes, although we prefer to meet in person whenever possible.

How much will a case cost? Can you give me a quote for a particular case over the phone?

We bill hourly for most of our legal services. This way, you will only be billed for the time actually invested instead of making us guess how long a process will take and potentially overcharging you if we end up spending less time.We are happy to accept a down payment and then come up with a plan for the remaining payments in quotas according to when we will be doing the work in your case. We provide a personalized service based on years of experience exclusively practicing immigration law. We are there for you every step of the way in your case. You will probably find that there are attorneys who charge less, as well as attorneys who charge more.

We do not quote a variety of legal fees until we have the opportunity to meet with you for the first time. During our initial consultation, we will learn about your unique circumstances in the context of applicable immigration laws so that we can do our best to provide an assessment and range of estimated fees, tailored to your case. There are so many variables that must be taken into account. While we truly understand why a potential client would want to know even a general estimate, we do not believe that it is responsible for creating expectations before having an understanding of all the unique circumstances of the case. What we can assure you is that at the end of your consultation, you will have an honest and straightforward assessment of your options and the likely costs of each option. Then it will be up to you to decide. We understand that choosing an attorney is an important decision and we encourage you to decide which attorney is right for you.

Do I really need an immigration attorney?

This answer depends on many factors. Whether or not you ultimately decide to hire another qualified immigration attorney for a particular case, we strongly encourage you to sit down for an in-depth consultation. This can really be invaluable. Once you have all the information you need, you can decide if you need an attorney. As mentioned above, immigration law is highly nuanced, complicated, and constantly changing. It may sound easy to fill out and submit a form, but there is much more to consider to avoid delays or cheating. For example, each time a new form is filed with immigration, the adjudicator will examine any past immigration history, filings, entries, and exits. For that reason, it is advisable to have an attorney specializing in immigration law to detect possible complications and then manage the process. It is not our goal to be scary, but we often come across clients who have presented something incorrectly or presented something that should not have been presented. A bit of caution early in the process can literally save years and thousands of dollars. So the moral of the story is, at least have a consultation and probably hire an attorney.

Other attorneys offer free consultations, why not offer a free consultation?

We lock in a full hour to sit down with you, learn your unique story, and explain immigration law and your options. Our goal is to provide you with valuable information and tools so that you can make the most informed decision for you and your family by the end of that hour. We won’t rush you in and out of my office.

See also the answers on the previous queries.

How does hourly billing work?

After you meet with the attorney and she evaluates your case, she will provide you with an estimate of the total case and request payment of that amount. Often times, we can also offer payment plans as a courtesy. Our goal is to have sufficient funds in your IOLTA trust account (which is almost like a savings account) prior to the work that needs to be done so that we can use those funds when we work on your case. Each month that we work on your case, you will receive an itemized invoice that includes all the work that has been done on your case. If there are funds in this account at the close of the case, we write you a check and return it to you.

We have found that hourly billing is the fairest for all parties involved and allows us more flexibility to adjust the scope of our representation if there are any changes in procedural laws, and there are more changes these days. We think this is actually fairer than raising flat rates across the board. And we’ve noticed that cooperative clients have often been paying us less overall than we would have charged for that same case on a flat-rate basis. We will make sure that all your questions about billing and anything else related to our potential employment relationship are answered before you make the down payment and sign the contract.

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