How to Become an Immigration Lawyer


Immigration into the United States is very difficult, and even those who aren’t trying to immigrate may find it challenging to avoid being deported. For this reason, there is a strong demand to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer for those immigrating to the United States permanently and those who will eventually return home.

The Role of an Immigration Lawyer

As an immigration lawyer, you may be working with refugees who are seeking asylum, or you may be working with a worker who may need to obtain a work visa on behalf of a US corporation. However, becoming a lawyer of any type requires a considerable amount of education.

Soft Skills Needed By an Immigration Lawyer

Aspiring immigration lawyers must have fantastic verbal and written communication skills. They will often be working with immigrants who speak English as a second language. Even for those who speak English well, an attorney must be able to explain the complexities of US immigration law. Knowing a second language will benefit you as an immigration lawyer.

The legal profession, in general, requires a considerable amount of research. You must locate laws and statutes that are relevant to your case and use them in the defense of your client. You must also have the problem-solving skills necessary to advocate effectively for your client.

As a lawyer, you will be expected to have a professional demeanor. A lack of professional behavior can lead to you being reprimanded, and you may even be disbarred in extreme cases.

Bar Requirements

To practice law, you must join a bar organization in the state where you practice. A bar organization requires that you have proof of a law degree. The bar organization will perform a background check to prove that you are of good moral character. Once you have joined the bar, you must remain in good standing to continue to practice law.

Post-Secondary Requirements

You must complete a 3-year Juris Doctor degree. Prior to completing this degree, you must earn a 4-year bachelor’s degree. The degree you complete doesn’t matter though there are pre-law degrees that can help prepare you for law school.

For an immigration lawyer, you may want to major in a relevant foreign language such as Spanish. Educating yourself on world history and keeping up-to-date on current events can allow you to understand why an immigrant is trying to come to the United States. After you have completed your Juris Doctor degree, you must pass a bar exam to obtain a license to practice law.

Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you must complete a Law School Admission Test, commonly referred to as LSAT, and receive a score that the law school of your choice would accept.

At some point in law school, you will have the opportunity to specialize in immigration law. Once you have graduated, take the American Bar Association exam, and you will then be able to obtain your license to practice law.


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