Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does Immigrant Law Group do?
Immigrant Law Group is a public-interest-focused private law firm that provides representation in immigration-related matters to immigrants and their families by assisting in family reunification, protecting persons fleeing persecution, and guaranteeing access to benefits and rights under immigration laws and the Constitution of the United States. Through successful federal litigation, Immigrant Law Group has had an immense national impact on the interpretation and application of U.S. immigration law.
Q. What kinds of cases does Immigrant Law Group handle?
The attorneys at Immigrant Law Group have extensive experience in handling family-based visa applications, work permit renewals, naturalization, removal defense, refugee and asylum cases and special visa applications including the U visa for immigrant crime victims and T visas for immigrant victims of human trafficking. Immigrant Law Group, or ILG, is one of a very small number of immigration law firms in Oregon to have experience in federal court litigation. We believe that appealing decisions to the federal district court or to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is an important civil right. We have litigated many federal suits, including asylum appeals, federal court jurisdiction, and the retroactivity of the immigration statutes.
Q. What cases does Immigrant Law Group NOT accept?
Our office does not handle student visas, tourist visas, work or investment-related visas.
Q. What other types of work does Immigrant Law Group do?
Immigrant Law Group is active in community outreach and pressing for more just and humane immigration laws. Attorneys and support staff from ILG have given presentations and participated in workshops on a variety of topics, addressing issues such as limiting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement access to jails. ILG also lobbies elected officials from Oregon to support comprehensive immigration reform. Social justice for immigrants is at the center of the work we do.
Q. Does Immigrant Law Group do pro bono work?
Since its inception, ILG has provided more than $300,000 in free legal services. We accept deserving pro bono work on a case-by-case basis. Most pro bono cases are referred to us by other agencies or social justice organizations.
Q. How can I make an appointment?
The first step is to call our office at 503.241.0035 and schedule an initial consultation. A consultation is an orientation appointment where you will personally meet with one of our attorneys to explain your case. Immigration law is complex and every case is unique. The attorney will ask you questions about the details of your case and ask to see related documents before they can offer any legal advice or make a decision as to whether to take your case.
Q. How much does a consultation cost?
We charge $100 for an initial consultation, a much lower rate than most private law firms in Portland. We specifically charge a low rate so that cost is not a limiting factor in consulting with an attorney.
Q. How long is the wait for appointments?
The wait for an appointment can vary. Please call our office to make your appointment, and we will do everything possible to see you as soon as possible. We also maintain a waiting list for urgent cases in the event of appointment cancellations. We open appointments every Friday for three weeks in advance. Our staff is well-trained, bilingual and can assist you in the event of a true emergency.
Q. What will I need to bring with me to my appointment?
If this is your first consultation with a lawyer, or you are an experienced professional, here are some things we’ve learned about making the most of the first appointment:
(1) Write out your questions ahead of time — every single one.
(2) Bring paper to take notes.
(3) Bring your vital records such as birth certificates,
marriage certificates, divorce decrees, passports and if
you’ve had any contact with law enforcement before, bring
documents related to the incident(s).
(4) Be on time.
(5) When in doubt, bring it to the appointment!
Q. Who should come to my appointment with me?
If your case involves another person – for example if you are petitioning for a visa for a relative, or vice-versa – your relative should accompany you to the appointment. People not directly involved in your case may accompany you to the office to support you or provide assistance. At times, the attorney may limit who can enter into the consultation to protect attorney-client privilege.
Q. Do the attorneys speak Spanish?
Yes. Every person that works at ILG, from the attorneys to the support staff, speaks fluent Spanish. Individual members of our staff also speak additional languages. Language should never be a barrier to the services you need.
Q. What will my first appointment be like?
Our lawyers will ask tough questions about your case and examine it thoroughly. Because we understand that it is about the person, not the process, our lawyers will focus on your goals during the initial consultation. Our advice is always candid and clear. Most important, every consultation with our firm is private and confidential.
Q. Will you accept my case during the consultation?
Every case is different. Some cases will be accepted at the conclusion of the consultation. In other cases, the attorney with whom you had your consultation will review your case with all the lawyers in the firm to get their input and insights. We have a small firm, and our three attorneys work together closely to plan the best strategies for the cases they handle. ILG is unique among immigration law firms in the way we handle cases. We receive more requests for service than we accept. Because we devote significant resources and time to every case we accept for representation, our screening and case selection criteria are more thorough than other law firms. Our attorneys think long-range — seeking to balance client goals with the practical realities of immigration law.
Q. What happens after my first appointment?
If your case is accepted, it is assigned to an attorney. Some complex cases and all removal, deportation, or litigation cases have several attorneys who sit together as a team assigned. We will explain our strategic plan for the entire case, the options, and recommendations. We will also clearly explain the costs. Every client must sign a Legal Services Agreement which is our contract with you. It outlines the work we will do, the work you will do, and the fee for services.
Q. How much do you charge?
Immigrant Law Group charges a flat rate for each case instead of an hourly rate. Our rates begin at $750 per case.
Q. Do you have payment plans?
Yes. We have a variety of payment plan options for meeting your needs. We will explain these to you during your appointment. We accept credit and debit cards as well.
Q. Who are the attorneys?
Immigrant Law Group’s three experienced attorneys are Jessica Boell, Stephen Manning and Jennifer Rotman.
Q. How experienced are the attorneys?
Immigrant Law Group’s legal staff has years of experience in their field, and have been repeatedly honored for their work. For our work on behalf of immigrants in Oregon, Immigrant Law Group was awarded the 2008 Gerald R Robinson Excellence in Advocacy Award by the Oregon Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA). ILG’s co-founding partner, Stephen W Manning, was also honored by AILA when he was awarded the 2009 Edith Lowenstein Award for excellence in his field. Stephen was again honored this year with AILA’s 2010 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for the work of the AILA Amicus Committee, which he chairs.
Q. What is your success rate? Can you guarantee I will get my visa?
ILG is distinguished for its work on behalf of its clients. We are good attorneys who do good work for our clients. Our past successes do not mean every case will be successful. Each case is unique because each person is unique and our experience has taught us that cases win and lose based on numerous factors. We can never and would never promise to win a case. What we can and do promise is to fight very hard for every client. We are experts at litigating and negotiating with the government to achieve the most practical and reasonable results for our clients.
Q. My case involves someone who has been detained, can I get an appointment immediately?
Schedule permitting, our attorneys will try to accommodate emergency situations on a case-by-case basis. Call our office as soon as you can and our staff will assist you.
Q. Are you open on the weekends?
No, our office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 5pm, and Fridays from 8:30am to 4pm. We are closed on the weekends and all federal holidays.
Q. Where is Immigrant Law Group?
Our office is located in the Oregon Trail Building at this address: 333 SW 5th Ave. #525 Portland, OR _97204
For detailed instructions on how to find our office, click here.