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Immigration Law Work

ab4If you’re interested in a field that is very challenging, but also rewarding, immigration law might be a good fit for you. It’s an area of law with plenty of clients and business available, too.

Immigration Law Work Tasks

Lawyers who work in immigration law help people in many ways, including helping them to:

  • Get green cards
  • Secure visas
  • Extend visas
  • Arrange immigration to the U.S. from other countries
  • Apply for political asylum
  • Apply for citizenship
  • Bring relatives into the U.S.
  • Avoid deportation
  • Appeal deportation decisions
  • Decide the best process toward citizenship
  • Find study aids and classes for citizenship tests
  • Obtain necessary identification and paperwork
  • Understand immigration regulations

Immigration Law Work Skills

As an immigration lawyer, you’ll need many skills.


1) You’ll need to dedicate yourself to learning complicated laws. Immigration law is complex and the statutes are lengthy. It takes dedication and intelligence to learn and understand all the many laws related to immigration.


2) You’ll need to stay abreast of new legislation. Immigration law is constantly changing. As an immigration lawyer, you’ll need to be well aware of newly passed legislation (and its effective dates), as well as proposed legislation that may affect your clients.


3) You’ll need great communication skills. Most immigration lawyers are at least bi-lingual. Many of your clients will not speak English, or will have limited English skills. If you can speak their language effectively, they will be much more comfortable.


4) You’ll need great organizational skills. Immigration paperwork is complex and often has various deadlines or other specifications that must be followed carefully. You should be able to pay close attention to detail and be highly organized so that you don’t miss something important.

ab17Where You’ll Find Immigration Law Work

You might find immigration law work in a number of places.

  • Some private law firms specialize in immigration law (some even specialize in immigration for clients from one or two countries in particular).
  • General practice law firms offer immigration law work in addition to handling family law, bankruptcy, etc. Immigration law clients can become lifelong clients in a general practice firm, because you establish trust with them early on.
  • Lawyers who do pro bono work often take on immigration law cases.
  • Lawyers who work for non-profits may help clients with immigration issues.

How to Prepare for an Immigration Law Career

If you think that immigration law might be a good fit for you, there are several things you can do before graduating that can help set you up for a career in the field:

1) Learn at least one additional language and become proficient in speaking and writing it.

2) Take immigration law electives during law school.

3) Do a summer internship with a law firm that handles immigration cases, or with a legal aid society that helps immigrants.

4) Start following immigration law news and happenings in your state legislature and the U.S. House and Senate.

5) Study U.S. immigration law history.

6) Find a mentor who is practicing in the field of immigration law.


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