March/April 2011

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UNSOLICITED ADVICE from Cletus M. Weber You Should Consider Hiring Someone for Your Immigration Practice I f you have been practicing immigration law solo or with a partner for more than a few months and have yet to add any employees, now is the time to start thinking about hiring someone. Although employees certainly add a level of challenge to your practice, they also create a good opportunity for you to spend a larger percentage of your time on the tasks most valuable to your clients. Pyramid of Value Not all tasks provide the same value to the client. Te Pyramid of Value below represents the relative value that various types of tasks provide to your client. Te Pyramid of Value conceptualizes some important practical considerations: Te biggest nuggets of gold reside at the top of the pyramid. Te largest chunks of lead rest at the bottom. Value at the peak can be enormous. For example, a technology company once became frustrated with a multi-national, multi-specialty law firm spending about $5,000 for a nonimmigration associate to research from scratch which non-PERM employment-based immigrant visa category to pursue for one of its Ph.D. level engineers— without ultimately deciding which path to pursue. Because my practice has Pyramid of Value focused on such cases for many years, I took only about two minutes to review the résumé and decide. Comparatively speaking, I created $150,000 per hour of value for this particular client—at least for those two minutes. Similar instances of great value can be found in all areas of immigration law and at many stages of a case. For a task done well, the value to your client is about the same irrespective of who may have completed the task. For example, an approved H-1B petition provides the same value to your client whether you did the entire case yourself or had a staff member do everything, except for some early communications and the final review. Conversely, walking to the post office to mail the petition to USCIS provides a relatively low benefit to the client irrespective of whether you or your staff member does the walking.  PRINCIPAL DECISIONS DECIDE MAJOR STRATEGIES DIFFICULT CASES PREPARE MEDIUM CASES PREPARE SIMPLE CASES PREPARE CORRESPONDENCE PHOTOCOPY ANSWER PHONES CAPABILITIES  MARCH/APRIL 2011 11  PARALEGAL  ASSISTANT  RECEPTIONIST PREPARE  ASSOCIATE MAKE MAJOR GRAPHIC BY BRADLEY AMBURN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM $ ¢ VALUE 

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