What is an excellent question for you to ask your immigration lawyer?
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and… stay tuned. We are getting ready to open a third office, and I’m really excited to tell you about that. We’ll be making our announcement here pretty soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to shoot this video to talk to you about something that you might think about when talking to your immigration lawyer, or when you’re thinking about hiring an immigration lawyer. I had the chance to talk to three or four immigration lawyers in the last few weeks, and I heard about how they manage their practice. I was surprised by some of the things that I heard. Two of the law firms run their law firm on Google Sheets. Google Sheets is sort of like the free version of Excel. They have these long spreadsheets with lots of columns, lots of information that’s kept about each case. And that’s sort of where they keep track of their cases.
Then the third one didn’t have a list at all of all their cases. That was a situation where the attorney worked with an relatively older attorney. Someone older than me, so by definition if you’re older than me, you’re old. And they were doing everything on paper. If you can imagine that. One of the great things about our office is we’ve started scanning in everything that comes in and everything that goes out on day one. So we’re entirely digital. And that’s good.
But the question that I think you should ask your lawyer, or someone that you’re thinking about hiring as your lawyer is, “What systems and what software do you use to keep track of cases?” The great thing about the rise of the Internet and all the software companies out there, is that there are really a lot of not so expensive software options that allow lawyers to do what’s called case manage. There’s case management software, that’s what it’s called, that allows you to keep track of all your cases. So we happen to use a piece of software called Filevine. I really like Filevine. It’s very customizable. We’ve been able to put in all these fields so that we can put in all this data and we can run reports. We can see all the cases that have requests for evidence out. We can run a report that says, for this attorney, how many cases do they have, what’s their workload like? We can run a report that shows us how long a case has been pending. There’s all kinds of ways we can mix and match.
We can also create these workflows so that automated things come out when certain things happen. For instance with my lawsuits, a lot of that is automated and the email messages are all… We know each stage, we’ve anticipated and thought out what are the questions that are going to come about this stage, and we send that email. So it’s really a great way to run a system. As you’re going through the process of asking attorneys or thinking about hiring an attorney, you should ask them, “How technologically savvy are you? How advanced are you? What’s it going to look like for me to interact with your firm? What can I expect as far as how you’re going to keep track of my data? Are you going to record the dates? Do you have automatic ticklers, reminder systems?” Those kinds of things, so that nothing falls through the cracks.
We’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of money to build out Filevine the way that we want it. In fact, we’re going through Filevine 2.0. We’re going to build a new level of automation and case tracking, so that each case type has their own section and their own workflow. We’re really excited about that. It takes a lot of work, but it makes us much more efficient. It allows our paralegals to handle high caseloads and to do so efficiently and hopefully cutting down on mistakes and errors. We do our best. We’re not always perfect, but we do our best. And I think that’s really important when it comes to selecting an immigration lawyer.
If you have questions about this or about how to talk to immigration lawyers about whether or not you want to hire them, you should give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at [email protected] You know about our Facebook group, it’s called Immigrant Home. We have over 5,000 members in there, I think. There’s people in there asking questions and answering questions every single day. Finally, we have our YouTube channel that you should subscribe to, because we update it with new videos every single day of the year. We also go live in there on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon Central Time, answering as many of your immigration law-related questions as possible.
Thanks a lot and we hope to see you there.