By Ally Kennedy, Founder of Amiga
Ongoing Client Contact Until Decision
This has two parts:
Informing clients of each receipt and notification that we receive
Monthly status update letters
FYI Letters regarding Receipts and Notifications
Every case type has an FYI Letter for each step, such as receiving the receipt notice, biometrics appointment, work permit approval, deferred action approval, and so on, along with an explanation of what comes next. They also include checklists to show the clients where we are in the process on each case.
You can find our FYI letters in our Case Packages here.
Monthly Status Update Letters
For each case we send a monthly status update letter that states when their case was received by immigration and where immigration is in processing the cases. (For example, your case was submitted on July 7, 2016, and USCIS is currently processing cases submitted on or before February 2, 2016)
We also have a generic monthly status update letter that we send to all clients each month where we indicate if the case is pending, active, or if we are waiting on the client for something. We oftentimes end up sending these letters out every other month.
Though we try to call every client once a month to update about his/ her case, that often ends up happening only once every 2-3 months. These letters help, though, because the client is informed on a monthly basis about the case. It also helps to encourage clients whose cases are stuck because of their inaction hop into action so we can get their cases submitted. (Though most of those cases are clients whose cases we handled before we created the system that I have described in this article).
There you have it- the “secret” to my law firm. I have worked incredibly hard to create this system and work out the kinks to make it work for us. It has taken over a year of my and my team’s time doing this on a daily basis to figure this out and put this together, and my hope is that you can pick it up and use it right away.
As you can see, this system frees up the lawyer’s time substantially. The lawyer’s role becomes that of consultations and to review work rather than be on the ground doing the heavy lifting. It is much more fulfilling for the attorney and also allows you to serve more people that you want to serve.
Because of our method that we use, we don’t need a form filling software, because it is a copy and paste job to the forms from the questionnaires. My VA has tried it and finds it faster for her to just do it on her own. (Stay tuned for the next article of how we organize our e-files to make this process easy without the need of forms software.)
Though a removal practice is a bigger bear than that described here, the use of the quote sheets and questionnaires will help get the forms and declarations done more quickly. Template legal arguments for Cancellation of Removal can be updated by the VA or LA. There are ways to tweak this system to make it very efficient for a removal practice.
For more streamlining tips, check out these articles:
We want to hear from you! Does this work for you? Let us know!
About your Ally in Life, Business and Law:
Alexandra "Ally" Kennedy is a national award-winning attorney and the founder of AMIGA Lawyers and Alexandra Kennedy Immigration Law.. After becoming a mother, and in a matter of 3 months, Ally transformed her practice from earning in pesos to earning 6-figures and she is passionate about teaching attorneys how they can do the same. Ally empowers lawyers to be the CEOs of their law firms with her weekly blog, webinars, and conferences where she teaches step-by-step how to do the work they love while running a profitable legal business. Ally lives outside of Seattle with her partner and their 5 children.