Every day I meet people I can help. It is a great feeling to be able to tell someone who has a profound immigration problem, and is sure they will be deported, that their problem will likely amount to some paperwork, some months delay, and a return to their lawful status.
But I have to pick and choose my clients. I see the attorneys who try to help everyone, and I worry about all the client they take. I am much better lawyer when I have a limited number of cases with clients who truly want me as their lawyer.
I am confounded sometimes when my clients don’t seem to care about their cases. The only way I’ve been able to see if the client is serious about fixing their problems is by demanding attorney fees that reflect my skill, the length of time I’ve been practicing immigration, the good reputation I have earned in my 15 years of practice, and the wonderful customer service that my firm provides.
There are many people, it turns out, who want my help but do not want to pay for it. So please do not be offended if you call me for help and I do not return your call. I must first pay attention to clients I already have, then I can meet with new or potential clients. The new or potential clients that I will see first are those who have made appointments to pay me a small charge for consultation. These people have indicated, by agreeing to pay a consultation fee, that they value what I have to offer, and they are interested in fixing their problems. People who just call and leave questions may never get their calls returned, as I have other priorities which may preclude me from calling them back.
Now after we meet and discuss your case, and I tell you what is available to you, and how you would go about fixing your problem, I will tell you how much it will cost to hire me to help you. This amount that I quote you may be if the larger than you wish to pay. You are not required to hire me. I will be happy to give you the plan I have your case, and I’ll be happy to direct you to competent lawyers in Tampa who might be able to help you for less money.
In a perfect world, I would have unlimited time to help my nice immigrant friends, and I would not charge for my time. But this is a world where 15 years after law school I still owe $50,000 in student debt. I have a mortgage to pay, and a wife and three kids to support. I must and will charge what I consider to be a fair price for my time, and I hope you can understand this.