Seeking Legal Consultation in the U.S.

There are certain areas of the law that are beyond the scope of the Office of International Education. In these cases, OIE can lend you general support and advice, but you may also need to seek the help of an attorney to properly handle your legal situation. Choosing a good attorney is an important decision and we have provided you with critical information to help you navigate your options.

Immigration law is complex and changes frequently. An immigration attorney should have a thorough understanding of laws and procedures that pertain to non-US citizens. A good attorney will present you with the legal options that are available to you and can correctly prepare and file immigration petitions.

Lastly, there are situations where an individual can successfully file a petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) without the help of an immigration attorney. If you decide to file a petition on your own, you may want to pay for an initial consultation with a qualified attorney to get you started. It’s important to be informed on your particular petition type and be prepared to begin early and allow ample time for each step of the process. Begin by visiting USCIS website ( to find forms and general information.

Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Immigration Attorney

  • How long has the attorney been practicing immigration law?
    • Find an attorney who does all or most of his/her work in immigration law. Do not trust an attorney who guarantees a result.
  • How much experience does the attorney have in your particular type of immigration case?
    • You will want an attorney who has handled a similar immigration case.
  • Will the attorney offer an initial consultation before you hire him/her to take your case?
    • If so, be sure to find out how much the consultation will cost and how long it will be.
  • How will you contact the attorney?
    • Is he/she accessible via cell phone, email, or office phone?
  • Who will be handling the details of your case?
    • Will you contact the attorney or a paralegal with questions?
  • How much will it cost to hire the attorney for your case?
    • Rates vary significantly based on geographic locations, specific situations, and other factors. Be sure to ask before the work begins what the costs will be.
  • Will you be charged a flat rate or an hourly rate?
    • OIE recommends that you only consider an attorney who works on a flat rate basis. It’s also important to determine if any follow-up processing is included in the flat rate.

The office of International Education does not endorse or recommend any of the attorneys listed on this page. We are offering their information as a service to anyone seeking an immigration attorney or legal consultation.

Immigration Attorneys

Atlanta & Southeast Region

Southeast/Pacific Northwest Region

Northeast Region

Additional Resources

American Immigration Lawyer Association:

Find an Immigration Lawyer through AILA: 

American Bar Association:

Legal Aid Society: