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OVERVIEW

Lawyers are trained and licensed to give legal advice. Attorneys are trained and licensed to give legal advice and represent clients in court. Everyone has a right to legal advice and representation in the U.S.

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GENERAL LEGAL SERVICES

While lawyers and attorneys can sometimes be expensive, for some problems it is best to spend the money on their services. Only hire lawyers and attorneys who are licensed. The American Bar Association and the Atlanta Bar Association provide lists of licensed lawyers and attorneys.

Did you recently get a fine in Clarkston?

Are you having trouble paying it?
Look into Clarkston’s Diversionary Program for Court Fines. Under this program, your fine can be waived if you volunteer in the community.


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IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES

Individuals may file their own immigration forms with USCIS. They may also have someone read/interpret the questions aloud and write down their answers. However, any help beyond this MUST come from a licensed attorney or a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative. No other individual is qualified to provide assistance with USCIS paperwork, including tax preparers and notaries. If an individual needs help with translation, he or she MUST go to a certified translator.

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COMMON IMMIGRATION SCAMS

Telephone Scams People posing as USCIS officials may call and ask for identifying information, claim there is a problem with the application, and ask for the money to fix it. USCIS officials will NEVER call and ask for money over the phone!

Local Businesses
Some businesses claim they can file USCIS paperwork, perhaps even faster than
USCIS. Only USCIS and licensed lawyers/attorneys/representatives can legally claim knowledge of the USCIS process and file paperwork!
Dot-com Websites
Websites that end in “.com” claim to be affiliated with USCIS and charge for forms. USCIS has its own website and forms are FREE!
Visa Lottery
Once a year the Department of State (DOS) has a visa lottery called the DV Lottery.
People and websites posing as DOS may claim (often through email) they can help with lottery applications or that you won. The only way to apply for the lottery is through the official government process and the DOS never sends applicants emails!
INS
People and websites claim to be affiliated with Immigration and Naturalization
Services (INS) and try to assist with USCIS paperwork. INS closed in 2003 and no longer exists! All official contact will be from USCIS!

If you receive a scam phone call, email, or are approached in person, say “No thank you.” If you think something might be a scam, contact USCIS to check before sharing any personal information.

When to consider hiring a general lawyer or attorney: When to consider hiring an immigration lawyer or attorney:
You were in an accident and are hurt or hurt someone else You are not a citizen and are being investigated for a crime
You are a citizen and being investigated for a crime You need to understand your immigration legal options
You are suing someone or are being sued You are encountering delays with the USCIS process
You are getting a divorce You need advice on which USCIS forms to fill out

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GENERAL LEGAL RESOURCES

American Bar Association
Helps find licensed lawyers and attorneys.
http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm

Atlanta Bar Association
Helps find licensed, low cost lawyers.
229 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 400, Atlanta 30303
404-521-0777
http://www.atlantabar.org/

Atlanta Legal Aid Society
Provides legal advice and representation for civil cases like housing, health, family, children, the elderly, education, work, consumer fraud, public benefit.
151 Spring Street NW, Atlanta 30303
404-377-0701
www.atlantalegalaid.org

Georgia Legal Aid
A website that helps find low cost lawyers. The website is in Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Creole, Farsi, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
www.georgialegalaid.org/languages

Metro Fair Housing Services, Inc.
Helps mediate conflicts with landlords, file housing discrimination papers, and negotiate with mortgage companies.
175 Trinity Avenue SW, Atlanta 30303
404-524-0000
www.metrofairhousing.com

Tapestri, Inc.
Provides information on the U.S. court system and support services for those seeking legal services.
404-299-2185
www.tapestri.org

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IMMIGRATION LEGAL RESOURCES

American Immigration Lawyers Association
Lists local immigration lawyers that are licensed and in good standing. Lawyers must pay to be listed, so the list is incomplete.
http://www.aila.org/

Catholic Charities Atlanta
Provides USCIS approved legal representation and assistance in cases concerning immigration, citizenship, detention, and deportation.
2305 Parklake Drive, Suite 150, Atlanta 30345
678-222-3920
www.catholiccharitiesatlanta.org

International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Provides low cost representation and assistance in cases concerning immigration and citizenship.
2305 Parklake Drive, Suite 100, Atlanta 30345
404-292-7731
www.rescue.org/us-program/us-atlanta-ga

New American Pathways
Provides low cost or free legal representation and assistance in cases concerning immigration, asylum, citizenship, green cards, family reunification, and travel.
2300 Henderson Mill Road NE, Suite 100, Atlanta 30345
404-299-6099
www.newamericanpathways.org

USCIS Website
www.uscis.gov



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