When choosing legal services, most migrants rely only on intuition, some rudimentary internet research and price to make decisions. A few are also lucky enough to have a referral from a trusted friend to guide them. Unfortunately for many who are later disappointed, a low price can be the determining factor. But in many cases, people just do not know what they are going to be paying for and receiving from their lawyer regardless of what they pay. I have compiled these 8 value promises after years of trial and error gained advising over 5000 clients worldwide since 1992.
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By JUSTIN K. RICKARD
B.A LL.B M.A (Syd.) M.M.I.A Australian Lawyer & Registered Migration Agent # 97-90625
When choosing legal services, most migrants rely only on intuition, some rudimentary internet research and price to make decisions. A few are also lucky enough to have a referral from a trusted friend to guide them. Unfortunately for many who are later disappointed, a low price can be the determining factor. But in many cases, people just do not know what they are going to be paying for and receiving from their lawyer regardless of what they pay. I have compiled these 8 value promises after years of trial and error gained advising over 5000 clients worldwide since 1992. Now, here are my 8 value promises:
1. We will do absolutely all we legally can to gain you the best possible Australian visa – hence we give you the right advice for your situation in the first place, provide you with a number of realistic strategic options and prepare you for the many, many changes that can and will occur in the law during the life of your application. For example: at the end of this article is a list of changes just for 1/7/11 only (and this is only the list not the actual changes!)
2. I will personally be responsible for you and your application from beginning to end – I will not hand your case over to another agent or lawyer ever unless you request and agree otherwise
3. I will be give you as much time as you ever need to discuss your case without increasing my fees or charging you extra for the time we take - my professional fee is fixed and does not change. The only variable fees in your contract relate to admin charges and these usually are less than 10% of the professional fee.
4. I will explain all the laws, policies and evidence involved in your application so you thoroughly understand the best strategy to achieve your migration goal – there are 1000’s of laws in this area and, as per # 1 above (and the example below) they are constantly changing. It is simply impossible for lay-people outside the migration profession to have even the faintest idea of what laws apply when with any accuracy and what all your options will be. Even the government website will not show you all your options and you must have on-going advice as the laws change over even the course of your application.
5. I will be available to any of your relevant friends or family who want to participate in our phone, Skype or office meetings – this service is available at no extra charge as long as we agree beforehand who will be on the calls and why.
6. My accounts department or I myself will explain all our invoices and charges whenever you have questions or concerns – our accounts department is headed by Ms Ali Henry who will deal with al your queries (and there probably will be none as Ali is excellent at her job)
7. I will abide by all the professional standards governing my conduct as a lawyer licensed in NSW, Australia and as an Australian registered migration agent – please visit Law Society of NSW and Office of the MARA websites to understand these obligations and read the consumer protection documents we must send all new client before we start work for them (called “the IRMAP”)
8. I will fearlessly represent your legitimate interests to the Australian government without any fear of them whatsoever – this is because I am a lawyer with 25 years’ experience. I have 100’s of CLIENT testimonials to send you in proof of this. Lawyers have a duty to act for their clients in this way and any lawyer with self-respect and pride will always do so.