As an immigration lawyer, you will be met with a plethora of different cases. To be a successful immigration lawyer, you will need expertise in your given field of immigration.
An immigration lawyer will focus on assisting clients who intend to immigrate to a new country to work and take residency. Writing an immigration form can be complex without legal assistance. This means that as an immigration lawyer you will be filling our citizenship/work visas and help clients meet legal requirements of their intended country of residence. Clients will hire a lawyer to help them speed up the time it takes to process a visa application and not get rejected.
Also, some cases will be for people seeking refugee status or political asylum.
Immigration lawyers must stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of immigration law and adapt when filling out complex forms and assisting clients. In rarer cases, the immigration lawyer must travel to a clients country of origin and confirm background checks are accurate. This means not only knowing immigration law, but work within law to make a case seamless for a client.
To become an immigration lawyer, you must have a degree from an accredited law school and pass the state bar exam to practise law. You must study for a minimum of seven years to become an immigration lawyer. Most law firms will look for lawyers with specialist experience which can be gained as working as a junior lawyer. As an immigration lawyer, expect long working hours during the week in an office. Communication is the most important part of immigration law as you will need to speak fluent in your client’s language.
Immigration law Salary
The average salary for immigration attorneys is $65,000 per year. As with most law jobs, the more experience that the attorney has they higher they will get paid. Studies show that most lawyers move on to other positions after 20 years in this career.
The range in salary for an immigration lawyer ranges from $44,000 to $108,000USD. The yearly bonus caps out at $11,900USD. Commission per successful case is $1,200 on average. This averages the total pay of an immigration lawyer from $43,000 to $113,000 per year.
The hourly rate of an immigration lawyer can range from $100 to $350. In some cases this will decrease if a client decides to split the case. Meaning that the client will fill out some of the immigration forms, leaving the most trivial parts to the lawyer.
Many immigration lawyers accept a flat fee for their service. In other firms, the lawyer will accept an hourly rate. Immigration lawyers also charge a consultation fee, which on average is $100.
Factors Effecting Salary
The hourly rate and salary of an immigration lawyer can depend widely on the experience of the attorney. Junior attorneys will earn the least due to their lack of experience. Senior lawyers will earn more than junior lawyers (around 5-11 years experience). Partners of the firm will earn the most money as their experience is vast.
Location is another factor to take into consideration. Large cities demand higher salaries for lawyers working within the city. For example, immigration lawyers working in Chicago earned around $130,000 but immigration lawyers in Austin (Texas) earned $78,000.
If you work for a non-profit organisation, you will earn 50% of what a lawyer working at a firm will earn.
Top Cities For Immigration Lawyers
Average salaries for immigration lawyers was highest in large cities. In California, the highest salary was $88,000 and the lowest region was in Hawaii with a salary of $52,000. Lawyers in southern states earned from $70,000 to $99,000. In New York the average salary for an immigration lawyer was $99,000. Washington DC is the highest paying state for immigration lawyers. On average, an immigration lawyer will earn $160,000 per year. This is higher than a corporate lawyer in Washington DC.
A 10 percent increase in lawyer employment from 2012-2022 is estimated. Demand for lawyers should increase due to more businesses and individuals requiring their services. The number of unauthorised immigrants has plateaued in recent years, falling from 12.2million to 22.7million in 2012 means that more immigration lawyers will be required to fill out visa forms. This in-turn will increase demand for immigration lawyers.
An Immigration lawyer salary is often one of the highest in the field of law, depending on the factors stated above. When deciding on what type of law you intend to study, carry out thorough research to ensure you are following the correct career for you. Check out City Of Hype for more information relating to lawyer salary.