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I am a European who wants to emigrate to the US. I want to get a green card based on a specialty (hard) case. I need someone great to help me figure out whether I have a case or not, and I cannot figure out how to identify the top lawyers. Yelp is not helpful as everybody seems to have awards, and plenty of them seem to have good reviews (many of which are from cookie-cutter cases)...

So, how can I really decide who to trust and who is really credible? Money is not an issue, at least for the first consultation.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Scott Earle, Dipen Shah, Giorgio, Jim MacKenzie, audionuma Sep 11 '18 at 20:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    You can ask your immigration question here and the people here can help you figure out whether you have a case or not. – user102008 Aug 16 '18 at 3:48
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    It seems you've done as much research as any of us could do. There is a considerable amount of immigration experience here on this site though... – ouflak Aug 16 '18 at 12:51
  • Thank you both. The problem is that my situation is very unique and I am self-employed so I need someone who can think outside of the box and beyond the typical "get married", "win the lottery", "find a job to sponsor you" etc cookie-cutter answers. I have a PhD from a top US college and a lot of credentials in a lot of different areas, so I am hoping that a good lawyer can take advantage of that. But they have to be really good to make it work because their is no category for people who are very good in many different areas (instead of truly exceptional in just one). – Pellenthor Aug 16 '18 at 20:27
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Finding an excellent lawyer in the US can be tricky. Background reading: American Bar Association, "How Do I Find a Lawyer" and Forbes, "How to find a good lawyer when you really need one."

Beyond word-of-mouth, a starting point can be researching prospective lawyers to make sure they're state bar members without state bar disciplinary action against them, AILA members, have a good reputation for past work, any publications they've written, etc. If the lawyer is part of a practice, also research the other lawyers in the same practice. See AllLaw.com, "How to Find an Excellent Immigration Lawyer."

With this initial research, you'll need to have initial consultations with at least a couple of the lawyers you're considering. They may charge for this. The initial consultation lets you see how the lawyer talks to you about your case and the potential road ahead. Don't trust a lawyer who makes unrealistic promises---but beware that you can't always identify unrealistic promises---this is also why you should consult more than one. Since your case is a bit unusual, the initial consultation can also tell you whether the lawyer has experience with similar cases. Good luck!

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