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Break ‘Em Down, Build ‘Em Up

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You got to break them down to build them up. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, Washington, DC.

My father was a US Marine, still is a US Marine, 80 years old, going strong. When he went to bootcamp, the drill instructor’s instructions were to break down those cadets or those plebes and build them back up. They had to push them down into the mud, literally, and build them back up. They had to knock them off their high horse. They needed to get everybody who came from different socioeconomic backgrounds to the same level so that they could work cohesively together as a unit.

What in the hell does that have to do with immigration, Jim? Well, I was talking to Daniel on our Immigration Answers Show, which you can view every Tuesday and Thursday at noon Central, about one of the great things that Amani, my spouse, is really good at, and it allowed me to put into words something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and that is that when a client comes to you, that your job as an immigration lawyer is to break their case down and build it back up. In other words, clients come in with a lot of preconceived notions, a lot of ideas about what’s good on their case and what might be bad on their case. But really, they don’t know what makes a good case. They don’t know what makes a case strong. They think they know. They think they know how to put a case together, but really they don’t.

It seems to me that the more jacked up case that the client has, the more unrealistic expectations they have about their case. I have always said that I don’t want to start a case with any client unless and until we are on the exact same page. In other words, I want to make sure that they understand all the risks, all the difficulties, all the hurdles, all the things that are going to make their case hard, and there’s lots of reasons for that.

One is I don’t want them nitpicking and complaining the whole time. I want them on my side and understanding why we’re doing all this work, why we’re building up the case this way. But in order to get their mindset right, I need to beat them down a little and explain to them, “Here are all the problems with your case, and we need to get it down to a very base level,” and then we build it back up, and then we’re all on the same page, and then we make a stronger case because the client is alongside me fighting as hard as I am to make the strongest case possible.

If they’re standing over there and just wanting us to do the work, it’s much harder than if they’re in the trenches with us doing that work like our fellow marines.

Semper fi to my father. Love you, Dad. Love all of you, my favorite immigrant people. I want all of you to file the strongest case possible, so you really should consider breaking it down all the way to a very base level and then building it back up, making it stronger, adding more. That first step though, is the breaking down. That’s what Amani’s so good at. She’ll just yell at people and tell them how crazy they are, how misconstrued they are, how confused they are about the perceived strengths and weaknesses of their case. That’s why she’s a great lawyer. That’s what I love to do, too. I love to just bring people down a notch, let them understand really what’s going on.

I had a case that I took over. I was talking to the clients yesterday, and I said, “The reason we’re having this meeting is so that we’re all on the page so that we all understand all of the problems with this case, because I don’t want you thinking that the case is going to get approved tomorrow, your green cards on its way.” Screw all that. I want them to understand exactly where they are.

Somebody gave us a great compliment on Google the other day. They said, “Hacking Immigration Law will tell you if your case isn’t a good one. Or they’ll tell you something that might make them less money, but that it’s going to put you in a better position. They might turn down your case or they might tell you not to file that instead of just saying, ‘Give us the money and we’ll file it.'” That made me really happy, and that’s what we’re all about here at the Hacking Immigration Law.

Core value number two, what’s in the best interest of the client? Always do what’s in the best interest of the client. If you have any questions, give us a call, 314-961-8200. You can email me, info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social, that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and that way you get updates whenever we make videos like this one. Then, don’t forget, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’ll be live answering your immigration questions from noon to 1:00 in our YouTube channel and in our Facebook group. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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