If you find yourself in court: If you are or have ever been in immigration court deportation (removal) proceedings, GO FIND A LAWYER NOW! Finding the right expert to represent you could be a life-changing decision. Unless you have been hitting the law books, it could be disastrous to represent yourself in immigration court. Rejection: Not everyone gets approved, if you have a criminal record or previous issues with the US government, you could likely be halted in the process of immigration. A lawyer will know how and where to navigate your case and increase your chances of becoming a valid US citizen. Mounds of paperwork: The wonderful US court systems are complemented by mountains of wonderful paperwork. Stretch your arms out and stock up on pens if you plan to handle this alone. A lawyer (more likely his/her secretary,) is very familiar with the process of filling out endless documents and properly filing them. Immigration lawyers have dealt with this paperwork countless times and will have the experience to fill them out in an optimal manner. They have specialized software and systems that will offer a path of least resistance. The peace of mind alone will give you a reason to pat yourself on the back for hiring a lawyer. Delays: Bureaucracy is not renowned for getting things done in a timely manner. What if you move? Paperwork tends to get sucked into the abyss of any government filing system. Immigration relies heavily on documentation and valid files being accessible when needed. Be sure to have a lawyer who knows what to keep nearby and how to ensure your documents get to where they need to go in a fluid manner. You will find it near impossible to track down information, as will a lawyer, the difference is they have an exponentially greater chance of knowing what to look for and where to find it than you do. Lawyers are usually happy to give a free consultation, so don’t be afraid to go get some advice if you find yourself in a legal predicament. Maria Jones Law Firm offers Immigration services in English, Russian, and Spanish.