How to Become an Immigration Lawyer

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Immigration law is a branch of law that deals with government policies that involve foreign citizens settling in a new country. Immigration lawyers are legal professionals that specialize in a variety of immigration issues.

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Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does an immigration lawyer do?

Immigration lawyers handle many different immigration law issues that relate to immigrants and their status of residency in the United States. They represent and provide assistance to clients that are looking to file for visas, appeal citizenship denials, and those involved in deportation cases. They also handle issues involving businesses that seek to relocate to international locations, asylum applications, and obtaining visas for students and workers. Immigration lawyers often help clients that are experiencing difficult situations such as illegal immigration or overstaying a visa. They meet and interview clients, obtain necessary documentation, perform research, and argue cases in court. Immigration lawyers often communicate with a variety of state and federal organizations such as the Department of Justice and Department of Labor.

What kind of training does an immigration lawyer need?

Immigration lawyers must have a bachelor degree and Juris Doctor (JD) law degree. All law schools require applicants to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to become admitted. Prospective immigration lawyers typically complete courses in immigration law, visa renewal, naturalization, legal writing, and citizenship laws. Many immigration lawyers complete internships and clinical experiences at immigration law firms or immigration agencies to gain practical experience in the field. All states require immigration lawyers to pass the written bar examination and become licensed to practice law. Most states also require a separate ethics examination. Many immigration lawyers join the American Immigration Lawyer Association. Immigration lawyers must complete regular continuing education to maintain their licenses and stay current of the most recent immigration and naturalization laws.

What are the prospects for a career as an immigration lawyer?

Employment of all lawyers, including immigration lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The increase in immigration and changes in immigration law will drive job growth of immigration lawyers.

Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition. Immigration lawyers with excellent academic records and sufficient experience will have the best job opportunities.

How much do immigration lawyer make?

As of January 2010, the average annual salary for immigration lawyers is $62,000; average annual immigration lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as an immigration lawyer is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in immigration law. Immigration lawyers must have a solid understanding of the concepts, laws, and procedures of immigration law. Excellent public speaking, analytical thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Immigration lawyers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a variety of clients and other professionals. They must also have great research skills.

Joshua T Osborne

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