When I am in immigration court and waiting for my case to be called, I often observe immigration attorneys that do not appear to know what they are doing. Whenever this happens, I wonder why it is that anyone would hire that immigration lawyer to represent them. However, based upon my own experiences with client intake, I know why this is. It is because people looking to hire an immigration lawyer do not educate themselves before hiring an immigration attorney.
There used to be a clothing company called, Syms. They used to advertise on television. Their motto was “an educated consumer is our best customer.” Basically, their point was that before you shop, you should educate yourself.
I am shocked by most of the calls and e-mails that I get at work.
I realize that most people who call me or e-mail me are doing so because I provide free consultations. I do not fault people for calling for a free consultation. However, someone should not call an immigration attorney just because they provide a free consultation. They should review the immigration attorney’s full website and educate themselves about the immigration lawyer before calling. Despite the fact that I have a very detailed website, most people do not educate themselves about me before calling.
Most people who call me will ask “to speak to one of the immigration lawyers.”
Believe it or not, the majority of people who call me do not know that they are calling Matthew Guadagno. In fact, most people do not even realize that they are calling a solo practitioner. Most of my calls are from people that think that they are calling a law firm (i.e., with many attorneys). The majority of my phone calls are from people who want to speak to an immigration lawyer, but do not know the name of the person that they are calling. From talking to these people, I know that they do a Google search about free consultations and call the first website that they see without looking at it.
Immigration law is a very broad area of law. Not all immigration lawyers handle every aspect of immigration law. My website is very clear with regards to what areas of immigration law I practice. My website was set up so that every page has a blue-green column entitled, “What I can help you with” and lists the areas of immigration law that I practice. There is also a tab at the top of every page, “What I do” that contains the same information. However, the majority of the calls and e-mails that I receive are from people asking about services that I do not provide and are not listed on my website. Whenever I ask people why they are asking about services that are not listed on my website, they tell me that they did not think to read my website.
Finally, my website has an “About me” tab that contains a detailed biography about me that describes my experience as an immigration lawyer. The “About me” page of my website explains my extensive experience as an immigration attorney. However, I regularly speak and meet with people who do not know anything about my experience as an immigration lawyer. It really shocks me that people would call a lawyer without knowing about their background and experience. I have detailed information about my background for a reason – I want people who are looking for an immigration attorney to be impressed with my background and be confident that I have the experience to help them with their problem. If you hire a lawyer without looking into their background, then you run the risk of hiring someone who does not know what they are doing.
Some of my reasons for posting this blog were to vent over annoying callers. However, my main reason for this blog is that I can educate people looking to hire an immigration lawyer that they need to look at the immigration attorney’s full website and learn about the lawyer before calling or e-mailing. The fact that an immigration attorney provides free consultations is nice. However, the immigration lawyer’s experience and ability to assist you with your problems is more important.
To paraphrase the people from Syms, an educated consumer is my best client.