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We’ve often been asked by clients and other attorneys why we chose to focus on Immigration and Nationality Law. I’ve always responded with the same five words – because we help good people.
As a law firm, however, we didn’t always have that clarity.
When we started the firm 15 years ago, we were handling corporate, family, criminal and Federal litigation cases. We also handled a few immigration cases, mostly because I was of Indian origin. People I knew in the Indian community would ask me questions, and I would then do some research and provide them with a legal solution.
Over the following two years, we continued to handle these different areas of law. It was just myself and partner, Robert Spiro, at the time, so we had a lot on our plate! In addition, more people started asking us to handle their immigration cases, and we started focusing more of our time in this area of the law.
Although we enjoyed the different areas of law we practiced, the immigrants we were helping started making an impression on us. We were good at immigration law, and the people we helped were grateful for the positive impact we had on their lives.
After just two years in practice, we decided to focus on just one area of law. But what would that area of law be? There were compelling reasons for all of them. We wanted to pick one and be great at it.
One Sunday afternoon 13 years ago, my law partner and I put a whiteboard up in our old conference room. We wrote each area of law that we were considering down along with a ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ next to each, and started brainstorming.
Thinking back on that Sunday, it really was a defining moment for our law firm. Generally speaking, solo practitioners and small firms tend to be ‘general practice’ firms that handled multiple areas of law. From an economic standpoint, it’s almost always necessary for small firms to branch out like that. However, we decided to take the risk and cut our practice back to one area of law. And after much debate that Sunday afternoon, we chose Immigration law.
Compared to other areas of law, we didn’t consider Immigration law to be that financially lucrative. Also, Immigration law is one of the most complicated areas of law a lawyer can practice. The laws are constantly changing, and it’s not easy dealing with a Government bureaucracy on a daily basis. There are a lot of inefficiencies in the system that can lead to extreme frustration.
What made it worthwhile, however, was interacting with our immigration clients. These were good people, and we felt that we were making a real positive impact on their lives.
Whether it was helping them with a work visa, or helping them unite with a family member, it was helping them that mattered most. We knew that these clients would contribute to the United States in a very positive way, and that made dealing with the ‘cons’ of Immigration law easy to ignore.
Our law firm continues to focus solely on Immigration law. We have helped thousands of immigrants realize their dream of living or working in America. And as we celebrate our firm’s 15th anniversary this December, I can’t help but reflect on that important decision we made in our conference room on a sunny Sunday 13 years ago.