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    Contracts, Fees, and Costs

    What is the BENEFIT of a contract/legal services agreement?

    We want to be on the same page with you about what we will do for you and what it will cost. An attorney-client relationship starts when you sign a written legal services agreement (contract) and pay an initial deposit or retainer toward fees. The contract spells out what we will do, what you will do, the estimated fees and costs, and the cost for any other events that might come up, if or when they arise during the case. The agreement also specifies how and when the fees and costs will be paid and due. You will be provided a rate sheet for hourly rates (when applicable) and estimated costs.

    You may also need to sign a dual representation memorandum if we will be representing you and a spouse or other family member, or you and an employer or employee.  This discusses the potential for conflicts of interest and what will be done if or when a conflict of interest arises. (That’s when the attorney gets caught in the middle of a dispute between two clients or when their interests are no longer the same.)

    We recommend that potential new clients who are ready to get started set up a longer sign-up meeting the same day as your consultation so that we can go over your contract, collect your deposit, collect your initial documentation and information, so that we can start working on your case that very same day. Keep this in mind when setting up your consultation or first post-consultation appointment, as this can help save a lot of time if you are very busy.

    HOW we charge for fees and costs:

    We know that you want predictable fees and costs so that you can budget for your case.  Once we know more about your situation and we select a strategy/service for you at the consultation, we will give you a fee and cost quote. For some routine matters, we charge flat fees per stage of the case.  However, because of frequent form and policy changes, and much longer processing times, we bill many matters on an hourly basis where there is unpredictability, frequent “requests for evidence” (RFEs), and/or longer processing times. Several of our services are billed at a combination of flat and hourly services.  For employers who have an ongoing fairly predictable need for counsel, we also offer monthly retainer options, as well as bulk service options. The fee terms are spelled out in the written legal services agreement and cost/rate sheet.  Remember, legal fees are for staff and attorney TIME devoted to your case, while costs are EXPENSES for such things as government or court filing fees, passport photos, delivery charges, photocopies, translations, expert opinions, and more.

    We tailor your fees to the specific facts of your case, your priorities, potential issues or additional applications that may be required, your ability to pay, the complexity of the case, and/or the extraordinary results to be achieved. What may have worked for your friend, relative, or colleague, may not be the best solution for you. In addition, we need to consider the government’s changing priorities or trends. An example would be the types of immigration or citizenship categories or fact patterns that are likely to trigger “Requests for Evidence,” audits, investigations, or other situations that could involve more work. We pride ourselves on giving you the individual, customized attention and service that you deserve. We do NOT provide cookie cutter services.

    HOW are fees and costs to be paid?

    We accept checks and online eChecks, cash, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards, as well as mobile/text bank payments from banks that participate in Zellepay, as well as wire transfers.

    WHAT happens once you sign the contract and pay the deposit?

    Your matter is important to us. We will work hard for you. You will receive ongoing communications about the status of your case; we will answer all of your questions; and we will seek your approval for new or additional services if needed. Your approval is required for any strategic decisions that need to be made. Unlike other firms where you see your attorney once at the beginning, or maybe not until your agency interview or court hearing, at this firm, your attorney will be available and will have in-depth knowledge about your case throughout your matter.

    Once you decide to hire this firm, besides the written fee agreement, you will receive a checklist of documents we will need to prepare your case along with instructions about how to obtain certain documents or information. If not done for the consultation, you will also be sent credentials to log into our web portal where you will be able to email or message us and upload/download documents.  You will also be sent instructions for tracking your case with us and with any agencies or courts we may be dealing with.  We provide monthly or periodic billing statements, periodic updates ,and requests for your input on case or firm matters.

    Open communication is the key to our relationship. We encourage you to talk to us about any questions or concerns you may have during our partnership together on this journey to resolve your immigration or citizenship needs. We need and expect you to actively participate in your own case.

    ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED? If so, please call the office at (206) 282-2279 to set up your initial consultation or complete the form to the right.

    IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD AN ATTORNEY, see our Links page for resources to low cost or free services.