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Las Vegas Lawyer or a New York Attorney? Can you afford either?

Updated on November 1, 2012
Successful law firms
Successful law firms

You call it a legal service?

“I paid my Attorney in Manhattan (NY) $7,000.00 for getting my immigration papers processed and he screwed up big time. I kept walking in and out of his office for about three months, not paying attention to the wrath of my bad tempered employer or to the deductions he made in my wages for not showing up in the office on every alternate day. Getting my legal status in place was a priority for me that time; nothing else seemed to be as important. Every time I entered my Attorney’s office, I used to wait for my turn for hours together; (apparently he had hundreds of clients visiting him every day) and finally when I used to be ushered in, he would give me exactly 5 minutes to talk and I had to use all the senses at my command to effectively utilize those precious 5 minutes for having my queries answered. The worst thing was that he even lacked the courtesy of asking me to sit down. He used to make it look as if I was getting the work done for free and he was obliging me with the services he rendered. After a couple of months of filing the papers I got shot (point blank) with a ‘Denial letter’ from the immigration department. That day it had seemed like Heavens had fallen. I was in a total mess and that Attorney had the nerve to ask me for more money in order to get the appeal filed, knowing very well that I wasn’t earning more than $300.00 a week. Worst of all, when I asked him what my chances were, he made it clear in his harsh and insensitive tone that his services did not have any sort of guarantees attached. My whole world had seemingly collapsed and all he could do to help was, to give me a choice, to hire any other Attorney if I so desired. I still remember him smiling brazenly at me, totally unaffected, when I walked out of his office with tears in my eyes.” 

This is what happened with one of my acquaintances, a couple of years ago. Poor fellow did not have the courage to file a complaint against the Attorney as he did not want to jeopardize his case further. He was new to United States and did not know his rights and the worst thing was that he had got that huge amount of $7000.00 wire transferred from his home country, as he did not have a regular job that time. Needless to say, that in States, a person cannot even think of surviving without a Social Security number which is issued only after the legal status is granted. Having that kind of money down the drain in ‘one go’ and that too without any results, I can only imagine his predicament in that nerve-racking moment of his life. The question is…would that Attorney have ever thought, even for a single moment, about that poor man, after he quietly walked out of his office, that fateful day?

Did you get justice?
Did you get justice?

Legal malpractice

We have thousands of people complaining about the professional misconduct of the Attorneys who seem to show absolutely no concern over the problems of their clients. For them every client is just a case and nothing more than that. They charge exorbitant amounts as legal fees but do not deliver proportionately. As a result of their intimidating fee structure, a large percentage (of people) are left with no choice except to forego their rights or else approach the courts (if the situation so demands) with zero knowledge of the existing legal system; either way it proves fatal for such helpless people. They either get bullied by the Judge or face the music in the court dumbfounded, with butterflies in their stomach as they stand no chance against the legal jargon used by the opposing Attorneys.

Prepaid legal services

I found that ‘Prepaid Legal Services’ (PPL) was a perfect alternative in situations where it is difficult to afford an Attorney.  These services turn out more beneficial in helping with day to day legal issues for which we, normally, do not hire an Attorney. They would charge you anywhere between $15 and $25 per month towards membership fees, depending on the State you are living in. In lieu of the membership fees, they extend many benefits ranging from, issuing legal notices and letters on your behalf free of cost, giving free legal consultation and complimentary document review up to 20-25 pages. In addition, if they feel you need an Attorney for any court case, they assign your case to a law firm (in their panel) which will take up your case at a 25-30% discounted legal fee. Sounds fair! These firms, however, are mostly loaded with cases and you really need to be patient for them to call you back. Also, they prioritize cases depending on the urgency involved.

Legal aid society

Yet another way to have a lawyer defend your case, in the event of acute financial hardship, is to seek the assistance of ‘Legal Aid’. These organizations work on the principle of ‘justice for all’. They see to it that no one goes without legal support and guidance only for the reason of shortage of finances. They, however, have to be convinced with your ‘financial crisis’ plea, before they take up your case. Due to lack of adequate funds, these organizations do not widely advertise their services, as a result of which, a large percentage of people remain absolutely clueless as to their existence and the way of approaching them. These societies exist in every State and all what one needs to do is to search for their addresses or phone numbers in the local directory. They have really helped many distressed people who had almost lost all hopes of getting a fair chance. Some links for legal aid help are mentioned below. The video uploaded says the rest.

Legal Aid

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    • anjalichugh profile image
      Author

      anjalichugh 8 years ago from New York

      Hi Sandra: Thx so much for such flattering comments. I really appreciate.

    • profile image

      sandra rinck 8 years ago

      Excellent hub Anja. I am going to permanently link it to my hub. Thanks again for it. It makes an excellent addition to the hub.

    • anjalichugh profile image
      Author

      anjalichugh 9 years ago from New York

      cgull8m: I wish there was someting like this but the only remedy available is to file a complaint in the event of misconduct against the Attorney in the District Attorney's office or the Bar Claim office. This is why people generally go to Attorneys through reference.

      Thx for coming back

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

      We should have a page where we can find whether the lawyers are trustworthy or not. People wouldn't mind the money but if they promise what they set out to do.

    • anjalichugh profile image
      Author

      anjalichugh 9 years ago from New York

      cgull8m: Thx for sharing the info. I agree everyone is not alike. Like it is said, more difficult than achieving success is, handling it. Some Attorneys become so arrogant after reaching the pinnacle of success that they lose contact with ground realities. They literally treat their clients as a worthless bag of garbage. Believe me I've seen that too. My effort was to highlight this inhuman behavior. I'm sure all the visitors to this hub will read the information given by you.

      Thx very much for visiting.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

      Anjali, it is so true, there are some unscrupulous lawyers only care about the money and don't care about the job. But amidst them I found this Hyder & Overas, I have been dealing with them for the past 10 years and I have recommend many friends and they do a get job in getting the whole immigration process as smooth as possible. http://www.hyderlaw.com/ They follow a series of steps and ask a series of payments, they get paid only when they do those steps and they follow it up.

    • anjalichugh profile image
      Author

      anjalichugh 9 years ago from New York

      mike: You are always so generous with your comments. I don't think I deserve that much. I simply try to highlight, through my articles, the extent to which some people exhibit callousness with total disregard to human values.

      Thx very much for reading this.

      BrianS: I can only hope so. Someone has to show them the mirror. So why not me?

      Thank you for visiting and your kind comments.

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 9 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Very nicely written and clearly from the heart, sounds like the legal profession need to get their act together and showing them in this light may just help get that process started.

    • profile image

      mikeq107 9 years ago

      Hi Anjali :0)

      Great hub and I Echo Laila and SC comments....You most deffinatly write from your heart and are using your god given talent.

      I have have had friends from Ireland go through the same issues with Immigration lawyers with the similar results...sort of like throwing money down the drain. Loved the legal aid video and I have been thinking about prepaid..

      Now I know One Lawyer with a honest heart ;0)

      Have a great rest of the week!!!!!

      Mike ;0)

    • anjalichugh profile image
      Author

      anjalichugh 9 years ago from New York

      laila & S.C. Vital Speed:

      All I can say is that I wrote this from my heart. I felt the pain and helplessness which that poor man was subjected to. I wish these top notch Attorneys could be a little more human with their clients. Things could be so much better.

      Thx for your kind comments.

    • S.C. Vital Speed profile image

      S.C. Vital Speed 9 years ago from NJ

      Excellent hub. I've personally dealt with a similar situation. It great to see someone finally wrote about it for the world to see this unfair justice which has been going on.

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile image

      Laila Rajaratnam 9 years ago from India

      Anjali,a really great article!You have described the emotions,the desperations and helplessness..all so very clearly. Thanks! You are a great writer!:)

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