Friday, April 11, 2014
Spring is finally here and with that comes Immigration Awareness Month. This April, we wanted to celebrate and show our appreciation for all the hardworking immigration attorneys that we have the opportunity to serve. I recently had the pleasure to sit down with one of these attorneys, Renée J. Tello, and ask her a couple of questions about her remarkable immigration law practice and the inner workings of her New York City law firm.
A Personal Connection to Immigration Law
As an immigrant herself from Guyana, South America; Renée has a deep interest in helping other people throughout the immigration process. She understands firsthand the frustration that often comes with this stressful, grueling process, enabling her to relate with her clients on a personal level. Renée started her legal career working in a boutique immigration law firm and later attended law school. With her combined experience as an immigration paralegal and attorney, she has been providing immigration legal services for over thirteen years.
A Commitment to Personal Service
Today, Renée has her own firm located in Queens, New York and she is proud of the fact that she can provide cost effective and efficient services to her clients. She relishes in the fact that, as a solo practitioner, she attends to her clients’ needs directly. Renée believes that her firm is unique from others in that she strives to make her clients feel comfortable with her easygoing and stress-free approach.
When discussing her immigration practice, it is clear that Renée has a passionate connection to her work. She understands the joy that comes with a client getting his or her green card or an approval for citizenship. Renée explains that while she may only be helping an individual, she always has to be mindful of the client’s family, spouse or children whose well-being can depend on the outcome of the legal proceeding. Renée cites keeping families together as one of the most rewarding aspects of her job.
A Rewarding Career
With over a decade in the legal industry, Renée has impacted the lives of hundreds of clients throughout New York City. Renée shared a specific experience that inspired her with me. Some time ago, she volunteered with the Attorney General’s office to assist clients who had been defrauded by fake or incompetent attorneys. In her time there, Renée worked with a family who thought their efforts and money were wasted after being subject to fraud; they had little hope and few resources to continue the process. The family had paid thousands of dollars to the previous attorney, who failed to advocate for the client resulting in denials of all of their green card applications. However, Renée was able to get them back on track, obtaining a Green Card for each member of the family, retaining benefits for the family’s daughter and eliminating the possible scare of deportation. Renée reflects fondly on this case because she was able to reverse a situation for an entire family, which resulted in their long-term stability – the very reason she is committed to practicing immigration law.
Increasing Her Firm’s Visibility
In terms of marketing her practice, Renée cites her website as one of her most potent marketing tools. She works hard to make sure it is SEO friendly and regularly receives compliments on its design and layout. Renée’s efforts outside of the office which include advertisements in the newspaper, flyers and signage outside the storefront of her firm and around the community prove valuable as well.
Renée’s activity with social media such as her Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, enhances her online presence and has even helped her gain new clients specifically with her Facebook fan page.
Her Daily Work as a Solo
Though Renée’s impeccable, professional and personal service doesn’t waiver, her work varies everyday. It’s all a balance between attending court, following up with client calls, finishing up work on substantive cases and meeting with clients – as a powerhouse solo she does it all! She strives to educate the members of her community about legal issues by holding free consultations on Saturdays. During the month of April, Renée also volunteers in the Daily News Citizenship Now Campaign and the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Citizenship Day where immigration issues are explored and questions are answered.
Her Words of Wisdom to New Attorneys
For attorneys just getting started, Renée cautions that they must feel competent with any case they are working on. Whenever possible, she advises young attorneys to do extensive legal research, participate in continuing legal education programming, and to align themselves with a bar association or a more experienced attorney or mentor so that they can have a strong understanding of the relevant law and procedure when tackling a new legal mater. This, she explains, is the only way to ensure your client’s well-being and provide high-quality legal counsel.
It was truly a wonderful opportunity to speak with an attorney who is so dedicated to her work and cares deeply about the impact she has on her clients. I encourage you to learn more about Renée by visiting her website or connecting with her on social media.