We profiled immigration attorney Bradley Maier in the 2011 Oregon Super Lawyers issue. The story details his transition from case manager at Portland non-profit, SOAR (Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees) to senior counsel at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, where he works largely with companies wishing to relocate foreign professionals to the U.S., as well as with individuals on various immigration issues. Here, he offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run proven immigration practice:
“A successful burgeoning immigration practice depends on volume. So you’ve got to have good, well-trained staff, and you’ve got to have an excellence docketing system, and you’ve got to pay attention to the details, all day, every day. It’s a challenging practice … especially since the regs, the procedures, the policy changes on a daily basis. You’ve got to be on your toes because there are a lot of balls in the air and if you mis-check one box on a single form, an application could get denied and so somebody ends up maybe being deportable, the company doesn’t get to hire their new CEO, or their new physician or their new violinist. You’ve got to be really constantly focused. And when you combine that with volume it’s a challenge.
I always prepare every application with as much solid evidence as I can to make it as easy as possible for the agency to approve it-I go out of my way to try to make it easy for them. And, fortunately, I’ve had a good track record. Also I’m pretty conservative-I don’t just throw things at the wall and see what sticks; I have good, hard conversations with clients.”