Some of you may know that I write a column on marketing for the American Bar Association magazine Law Practice. This month, my column is on a subject that’s pretty important to me as an immigration lawyer – legislative and policy advocacy. I don’t call it “lobbying” because the term implies working in that profession. I’m not paid to lobby and the issues I work on are of my own choosing rather than at the request of a particular client or industry group.

Most lawyers are already advocates, but for the most part our advocacy is reserved for the courtroom or making the case for a client seeking a benefit from a government agency. But a lot of the best lawyers I know go a step further. They make the case to government agencies and to legislators on what isn’t working in the law. As lawyers, we’re in a better position than most to see the faults in the system and what changes are needed. That’s certainly been the case when it comes to immigration law and I’ve been happy to play a small role in this effort. That includes helping to draft bill language, testifying in front of a congressional committee, commenting on government regulations, speaking at public forums on immigration reform and working through bar organizations like the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the IMG Taskforce to promote positive change. And, of course, legislative advocacy is one of my most important goals in writing this blog.

The tie in with marketing is fairly obvious. Some of the lawyers most successful in the courtroom are those with passion who really demonstrate they care about their clients’ fates. The best courtroom lawyers also are successful because they love what they’re doing. And that’s true as well for legislative and policy advocacy. I’m a true believer in the benefits of immigration and being able to engage in advocacy to improve the law gives me great satisfaction. I know that’s the case for many of my colleagues around the country and if that happens to help our practices, even better.

Greg Siskind

Greg Siskind

Greg Siskind is a partner with Siskind Susser, PC - Immigration Lawyers. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, he received his law degree at the University of Chicago. He created the first immigration law web site in 1994 and the first law blog in 1997. He's written four books and currently serves on the board of governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He can be reached by email at gsiskind@visalaw.com.
Greg Siskind

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One Response to Legislative Advocacy: Good Citizenship, Good Marketing

  1. Tobias Nojob says:

    Arizona court order
    Jan. 5, 2015
    Arizona must stop enforcing identity theft laws that penalize immigrants for seeking employment if they are illegally in the country, a federal judge ordered Monday.
    http://documents.latimes.com/arizona-identity-theft-decision/

    It is imperative to reiterate that willful ignorance displayed by members of Congress, State officials and the political class while dealing with the immigration issue is an irrefutable evidence of constituents’ stupidity (specifically those who are fervidly opposed to any sort of temporary relief granted by the Executive Branch to certain unlawfully present immigrants) and excoriating the current President on immigration is not going to elevate their brutish status.

    Conversely, the recent “Executive Actions” on immigration (which are NOT Executive Orders as portrayed by mainstream media) ARE IN ANYWAY A REAL GUARANTEE THAT THESE NEW GUIDELINES WILL BE FULLY IMPLEMENTED: the Secretary of Homeland Security could simply postpone (and even modify or nullify) these procedures if circumstances beyond the agency’s control force to take such approach – VIEWED FROM A LEGAL STANDPOINT, SECRETARY JOHNSON HAS INDEED THE POWER TO ISSUE NEW IMMIGRATION DIRECTIVES NULLIFYING THE ONES ENACTED ON 11/20/14.

    Therefore, it is very questionable the recent approach taken by President Obama on the immigration agenda.

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