Between An Immigration or Citizenship lawyer, and
Paralegals and Public Notaries.
I have a
countless number of cases where the client comes to
me, a Citizenship lawyer, with a serious problem or
an irreparable problem caused by a public notary or
a paralegal. These are very sad cases which in majority
have resulted in having to sue the paralegal or notary
public to return the monies to the individual. We
have been successful in the past and have been able
to fix the damage done by the paralegal or notary
public. However, in some cases there is nothing that
can be done.
yourself from the trap that paralegal services and
notary publics have. Be informed and do not let anyone
take advantage of you or your family.
There is such
a big problem with paralegals and public notaries
posing as Citizenship lawyers in the United States
that I have decided to write this webpage to inform
you about the differences between the three. In this
site you will learn the difference in education requirements
for immigration or citizenship lawyers, public notaries,
and paralegals. I will also teach you what each can
do for you and your case, what each cannot do for
you, and what you can do against them to hold each
with a description of each:
or Citizenship lawyer: Only
an immigration lawyer or as some call them, Citizenship
lawyer is authorized by US law to give legal advice
to you. Anyone else, including paralegals and public
notaries ARE NOT allowed to give ANY legal advice
and that includes advice as to what US immigration
form you should submit.
lawyer goes to college, obtains a bachelors degree
and then goes on to law school to obtain a doctorate
degree in law. This in fact makes them doctors, having
received a Juris doctorate. The education training
takes at minimum seven (7) years after graduation
from High School.
lawyer is licensed by his or her State Legal Bar and
required to be a member. The State Legal Bars regulate
the quality of the attorneys work and protect the
public as consumers. By being a member of the State
Bar, the citizenship lawyer is required to take legal
education classes on a continuous basis to stay up
to date with the changes in immigration law.
If you have
any complaint or question about a citizenship lawyer
(i.e. whether the person is actually a citizenship
lawyer, etc), you can contact the local State Bar
in your area. The State Bar can sanction, suspend,
and even terminate the citizenship lawyer’s
right to practice law in that State for any unethical
dealings done by him or her. You can find out your
local State Bar's web address by searching on
google for "(Your State) Bar Association."
Bar is there to protect you as the consumer.
Notaries and Paralegals: Some
people think that immigration law is simple and only
requires the individual to fill out some immigration
forms and they will then receive their green card.
They could not be more wrong.
for them, public notaries and paralegals take advantage
of this common thought and tell immigrants they do
not need a citizenship lawyer; that they can help
them themselves. It is really easy for paralegals
and public notaries to take advantage of immigrants
because the individual is now in a new country, with
a different language, different governmental system,
and different laws. Paralegals and public notaries
know this and take full advantage while they know
fully well that they are
not authorized to practice law. Sadly enough,
the immigrant is the one that suffers the harm. The
immigrant may end up losing his or her chance at obtaining
a green card, becoming out of status (illegally here)
because of wrong information, or even just informing
the government that they are currently illegally present
in the United States and getting themselves deported.
Notaries: A public
notary in the United States is NOT an attorney or
lawyer. An American public notary is very different
from a NOTARIO CIVIL (Civil Notary) of South American
or European countries. A European or South American
Civil Notary is an educated and trained individual
with law school background. He or she has a large
amount of responsibility and prestige and has authority
by the law to conduct legal transactions.
The US notary
public does not have ANY of the rights or powers that
a Civil Notary does. The requirements to become a
public notary in the US are paying the state fee of
$99 and being a high school graduate. You don’t
even have to be a US citizen to be a public notary.
You don’t have to have any education.
why Federal and State law ONLY allow public notaries
to provide the US immigration forms to individuals.
Notaries are only able to give the US immigration
forms to the clients after the client asks for the
specific form. According to American law, only an
attorney or citizenship lawyer, in other words somebody
that has a doctorate degree in law (Juris Doctorate),
can provide to you legal advice and information. NOBODY
Paralegals are also not attorneys
or specialists of immigration law. They are individuals
that have some level of education and either work
or have worked with lawyers at a law firm. According
to Federal and State law, a paralegal is only authorized
to work with you under the DIRECT SUPERVISION of an
attorney or lawyer. They are NOT lawyers and are NOT
allowed by law to give you legal advice or counsel
(even WHEN working under the direct supervision of
a citizenship lawyer).
with paralegals claiming to be able to help you. The
first thing you need to ask a paralegal is who is
the attorney supervising him or her and where is the
attorney located. You should then ask to speak to
the citizenship lawyer directly. As I indicated above,
ONLY the citizenship lawyer is able to give you legal
advice; not a public notary or a paralegal.
One of the most common scams happening today is paralegals
telling their clients that they are able to help.
The paralegal then either leads the client to believe
they are attorneys or lets them think there is an
attorney involved directly supervising his or her
work. Well, it then turns out that a lot of these
paralegals in reality have no attorney supervising
them or the attorney is located in another City or
State and has no knowledge whatsoever of the case
being worked on.
does this mean to you?
That you place yourself exclusively in the hands of
the paralegal. The paralegal that has not been through
formal training of law as have citizenship lawyers.
The paralegal that has no regulation by the State
Bar of his or her actions. And the paralegal that
will not be able to help you once he or she commits
a mistake on your immigration case and results in
you either not being eligible for your green card
or being detained and ordered deported at your own
green card interview. Because of course, paralegals
not being attorneys, they are not able to accompany
you to the green card interview either.
Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
When meeting with someone to
discuss your immigration status, be sure to ask to
see the individual's Law Degree Certificate and License
of the State Bar. Only attorneys who GRADUATED FROM
A US LAW SCHOOL are able to give legal advice in America.
is prevented by law. Even an individual who is an
attorney or a notary civil in his or her country is
not able to give you legal advice in the United States
UNLESS he or she is ALSO a US attorney.
You can also
contact the local State Bar to confirm that the individual
you are planning on seeking legal services from is
a barred citizenship lawyer. To find out information
about a Florida citizenship lawyer, you can look at
AILA website or the
The Florida Bar Website.
and do not let anyone take advantage of you!