Immigration Solo Practice and Software Challenges

Transparent Screen” by meckert75 is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

I am an immigration lawyer who has solved visa issues for clients for more than 30 years.
I would like to update some of my recent views and experiences in the field of technology, visas,
international case processing challenges, and confidentiality in an effort to assist other lawyers or
human resource professionals who might be and looking for solutions in the field of global
immigration law or transitioning from office to remote and paperless offices.

The decentralization of immigration and its shift to remote, paper-based filings for all
operations created challenges in modernizing information technology across the board,
especially with the government itself. I am encouraged by the recent update by the United States
and Citizenship Services “USCIS” allowing use of credit cards for nearly all filing applications.
Personal checks are still accepted but money orders are discouraged in some local offices.

We are moving towards a paperless office and eventually will move to online filing
directly with the government website, however, our team moves quickly and we prefer to use our
own software for now. I am a fan of video conferences via zoom or Microsoft Teams to intake
clients, then to review documents with clients, and finally, to prepare for government interviews.
So generally, I meet personally with clients this way at least three times.

For software, currently we use Mitratech (tracker) for our business cases and Docketwise
for our new and family immigration cases. Docketwise was selected for its integration with
Quickbooks and Law Pay and we are in a trial period of several months now. Before this we had
asked Mitratech’s staff to assist in the customization of client questionnaires. I hope that with
Docketwise adding text capability and billing integration we can streamline our client
communications which are currently stretched between portals, whatsapp, text messages, emails
and phone calls. So far the billing integration is not helpful in Docketwise as I need more
management reporting, so as per the recommendations of Main Accounting, I will now try Camp
Legal.

As I mentioned in my article last year, I will continue to evaluate and research
competitors. I have personally tested Clio, Practice Panther, Law Logix, INS Zoom,
Docketwise, Cerenade, and Neutrinet.

Within the next few months, I will prepare a spread sheet with feature comparisons. Stay
tuned and let me know your thoughts and experiences.

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