While online research has become the "go to" solution for all searches, that does not always work for complicated immigration matters, notes Magdalena Cuprys.
Cuprys & Associates (N/A:N/A)
MIAMI, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, January 10, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Florida-based immigration practitioner Magdalena Ewa Cuprys has published a research guide for online immigration research. Online research for visa and immigration matters is more complicated than it looks when one types a search query in the Google search bar. The complete article is available on her Blog at https://magdalenacuprysblog.blogspot.com/
Nowadays many people think that Google with give them the answer as soon as they type the question into the Google search bar. That may be true of you are looking for the closest hamburger restaurant, or where to buy new shoes. If it comes to immigration law, however, Google will probably not answer that question that easily. The reasons are manifold. Many immigration matters, such as USCIS instruction forms, are not searchable with Google (see below), you actually have to read them.
The more obvious reason is that, after Tax Law, Immigration Law is the most complicated area of law. I have not counted, but the laws, regulations and commentary allegedly cover more than 10,000 printed pages. Be that as it may, we can all agree on the fact and that visa and immigration matters are very complex. But let us start with research basics.
Conducting research is always an extremely difficult and time-consuming process. Not only must one double check facts and figures from a number of different sources, but it’s imperative for you to also ensure that your sources are credible and that you do not support misinformation or flimsy entities through your research.
Even though the invention and widespread use of the internet has made research far easier than it was in the past with all sorts of information available at the click of a button, most people forget the fact that this convenience also comes with a price to pay.
While the internet has contributed immensely to the availability and accessibility of information, it goes without saying that there’s a lot that needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to conducting research on the internet. Not only does credibility remain a major issue when conducting research on the internet, but the intrinsic sensitive nature of legal research worsens the problem tenfold. Moreover, with novices claiming to be professionals and uploading researches and creating legal blogs full of misinformation, conducting legal research over the internet can be quite a hassle for a variety of reasons.
With that said, however, disregarding the importance and value of a source of information as vast and grand as the internet simply because of fraudsters and credibility issues is the wrong approach and should be avoided. Instead, it is imperative for researchers to exercise due diligence when conducting research over the internet to ensure that they can benefit from the platform without worrying about being duped.
Additionally, since most people are worried about legal research costing an arm and a leg, it’s still possible for people to conduct research on legal matters using the internet – that too without paying a penny!
Interested in learning all about how you can conduct legal research over the internet without spending a fortune? Read on to find out as we tell you all about some of the best tips and tricks that you could use to conduct legal research over the internet for free.
The starting point: a collection of laws and regulations
Especially with online research, chances are that one has already done part of the research for you. As for immigration, a great starting point is Georgetown University, the Immigration Law (U.S.) Research Guide of Georgetown University Law Center (http://guides.ll.georgetown.edu/ImmigrationLaw). It contains not only federal statutes and regulations, but also administrative documents (which are very important since this a federal (meaning nation-wide) matter. Especially administrative adjudications can differ in different areas or regions.
Another well-organized online source is provided by Cornell University, the Legal Information Institute (LII). It has a special section just on Immigration with an introduction that explains the basics. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/immigration
However, even a well-organized online library might not give you the answers you are looking. Thus, let us review other information sources.
The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS)
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that administers the country's naturalization and immigration system. In case you are interested in the agency itself, Wikipedia is a great starting point (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Citizenship_and_Immigration_Services).
The website of USCIS provides a surprising amount of useful information. Thus, if your research issue is related to something that is under the jurisdiction of USCIS (such as an I-130 family-based immigration petition), the USCIS website www.USCIS.gov is a great starting point. The website has a help feature called “Ask Emma” in the upper right-hand corner.
However, before you do that, try this simple short-cut to answers: The instruction sheets that come with most immigration forms. For example, if your issue is (again) related to an I-130 family-based immigration matter, you go to the “Forms” section of the website, and then select the “Instructions” sheet that is listed there along with the I-130 form itself. This is something that you cannot google, yet it is so simple to find and it may just answer your question.
If you have a more complicated issue that cannot simply be answered with instructions, read on.
While lawyers are generally looking for primary law that includes court statuses, opinions, and regulations, it is generally easier to resort to secondary law as a starting point. This is primarily because secondary law is not only easier and far more convenient to understand, but free journal articles that essentially classify as secondary law are full of analysis and explanations to legal matters that can be difficult to understand when viewed or researched in isolation.
What’s more, certain online sources and platforms are also integrated with Google-powered search engines for you to enter appropriate keywords and browse through countless articles from numerous online journals and law reviews.
Fortunately for legal researchers, countless developers interested in making legal research more convenient and hassle free have launched applications that contain credible information making research extremely easy – that too without the risk involved. Since all information on these platforms and applications goes through intensive checks beforehand, one can easily benefit from the contents of the research without worrying about authenticity.
One thing, however, that must be taken into account is that since you have to be extremely specific about the name of the application before buying it, it is imperative for you to conduct research regarding the best applications out there. Luckily for many, since that is a common problem that researchers had to go through, certain individuals and entities have also increased the convenience of researchers in this regard and have created comprehensive lists of all of the relevant applications and resources that one can benefit from. The UCLA’s Law Library, for instance, is a comprehensive and alphabetically ordered list of law apps that users can benefit from when they are interested in conducting research without spending a fortune.
As mentioned above, one of the most common problems when conducting legal research online is the authenticity factor. Since the credibility of information is questionable, there are also multiple techniques through which you can retrieve background information regarding legal professionals to ensure that you don’t take home from misleading reports or articles.
If you need background information regarding any professionals in the legal world from lawyers to judges, your best bet is to resort to the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory which is essentially the most traditional and trusted source for all information of this type. Additionally, you could also opt for the FindLaw Lawyer Directory and the Justia Lawyer Directory.
If you’re looking for something a little less conventional, you could also opt for the directories by Nolo and Avvo, the latter of which includes a lawyer rating system based on “a mathematical model that considers elements such as years of experience, board certification, education, disciplinary history, professional achievement, and industry recognition.” For increased credibility, the directory also allows users to put in reviews of lawyers that they have worked with to ensure that others looking for lawyers can understand exactly what they can expect and the type of cases that the lawyer has already dealt with.
For the convenience of researchers, these portals and platforms also contain a lot of additional information that you should be able to benefit from for a variety of reasons.
Since you might need access to dockets and could want to review case documents to extract relevant information, portals and platforms have been created to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. In addition to the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), you could also resort to RECAP, a docket site which allows you to view millions of federal dockets for bankruptcy, criminal, and civil courts of the United States – all for free!
You might ask why federal cases (such as those available on PACER) are relevant. The answer is simple. Immigration is a federal matter, such legal disputes about immigration matters may end up in federal courts. Examples of well-known federal court immigration cases are mostly the ones decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Legal Information Institute of Cornell University has dedicated a special online section to those Supreme Court cases, see https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/immigration_law_key_supreme_court_cases
Finally, here is one online source that is generally not very reliable – online forums. People talk a lot when the day is long, and many people post immigration and visa questions in these online forums, and get answers from people who “have heard from a friend that …” or something like that. Make sure to take whatever you read in an online discussion forum with a grain of salt. In the end, if you have a personal immigration or visa issues, it may be worth seeing an immigration attorney before you spend too much and effort on something that may turn out to be wrong. USCIS is merciless if it comes to rules. When you use the wrong USCIS application form, or send it to the wrong USCIS office, or fail to comply with regulatory requirements, USCIS will simple send the entire documents back to you. Make sure you have done your “right” research before you act, advises Ms. Cuprys.
About Magdalena Cuprys
Magdalena Ewa Cuprys is the principal attorney of Serving Immigrants, a full-service immigration law firm offering a complete range of immigration services to both businesses and individuals. Located in Miami and Clewiston, the firm’s offices provide corporate and individual clients of foreign nationality with temporary work permits for the U.S., green card petitions, criminal waivers and representation in removal proceedings cases.
Attorney Profile: https://solomonlawguild.com/magdalena-e-cuprys%2C-esq
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Source: EIN Presswire