Daily Reflections on Immigration

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Mackler & Curcio, Social Media Do’s & Don’ts for Lawyers

Camille & Lindsay’s  Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

By Camille Mackler and Lindsay Curcio


Whether you are a seasoned social media user or a novice, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:


1.       Do—some research. Many states have provisions concerning an attorney’s use of social media. Review your state’s attorney advertising rules.


2.       Do – make a separate Facebook page for your professional use and personal use, or make a decision to dedicate your personal page to work-related issues only. This doesn’t mean you can’t post personal information, such as an interesting activity you took part in or a great movie you just saw, just be sure this is information you would share with clients or colleagues without the help of the Internet.

3.       Do – learn about privacy controls and how to restrict Facebook and Google+ content to certain audiences if you utilize these outlets for both personal and professional uses.   Remember that Facebook often changes these settings without warning, so review privacy controls periodically.

4.       Do – link your social media accounts so that you need to only update one and the rest update automatically. (This is easy to do with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but doesn’t work as well with Google+).

5.       Do – find your voice.  Some people prefer only to post links to interesting stories, others adopt a more personal tone voicing opinions, frustrations, and celebrating victories.  Find the content-type that works for you.


6.       Do—edit yourself. If sharing thoughts on a frustrating event or posting a rant, think before you post.  Once it’s posted, you can’t take it back.

7.       Do - use judgment in accepting friend requests from clients and colleagues.  Remember that not only are you potentially giving friends access to personal information about you, but friends might also get information about others through your social media account.  This could be viewed as a breach of confidentiality.  If you create a Facebook page for your practice/law firm, you can point clients to that page and ask them to “Like” you. They will receive posts to stay informed.

8.       Don’t – unintentionally enter into an attorney-client relationship.  If you become active in the social media world, you will receive questions and requests via Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Be careful to whom and how you give advice to in this context.  Best practices would be to have a standard “thank you for your interest, we would be happy to schedule an in-person/telephonic consultation to discuss this further.”  Also, when possible, use disclaimers that no attorney-client relationship is created by any social media interactions.

[©2012  Camille Mackler and Lindsay Curcio.  Do not copy, cite, or circulate without authors’ permission.]


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"pop" final exam= cross cultural issue

Every student remembers the anxiety caused by final exams. Perhaps my professor has figured out a way to avoid that. I’m studying internation law in an LLM program.  Yesterday, the professor (from Germany) said, we’ll have a pop quiz in international commercial transactions on Tuesday. Today, we received the exam—not a pop quiz, a “pop” final exam. I think it went fine but I’m laughing because I can just imagine how my immigration law students would react to a pop final exam. There’s a little lesson in cross culturalism right there.

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#NDA12 #AC180 #immigration Consular issues

Speaking with foreign attorneys today, they all mentioned their dismay at the short time consular officers have to review visa applications at the U.S. Consulates and the lack of consular reviewability of denials of visa applications.  The attorneys mentioned a different system for reviewing determinations for visas from the U.K.  I’m going to do some research and see the differences, advantages and disadvantages.  I’ll write more soon.

Practice point, clients are very sophisticated. Take the time to listen, learn their concerns and their own comparative law experiences.  It will help you serve your clients better.

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#AC180 Global Migration

The day before the annual American Immigration Lawyers Association conference in Nashville, a seminar on Global Migration will be held. It will be June 12/13, 2012. Take a look at www.aila.org/globalmigration

Today at lunch and dinner, I had a first-hand global migration focus group.  During meals at the LLM program in international law at which I am studying. Delightful new friends includ leading young attorneys from Nigeria and the West Bank, a seasoned trial lawyer from the U.S., and a Lord (barrister, qc) and a Lady from London.

Interesting to hear perspectives first hand about the EU, Africa and the U.S. I also love to hear about everyone’s experience applying for visas to the U.S. or EU countries, if a visa is needed. Challenges or good experiences. 

Trying not to be to U.S.-centric and reminding myself people want to visit/work in other countries, too.

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#AC180, we’re still practicing imm law in the U.S.!

Attended a fancy dinner in Europe. Told a lawyer from former eastern bloc country that I am from NYC and I practice U.S. immigration law.

Her response:

oh, are people still doing that?

My response is:  Oh, Hell Yeah!

And I pointed her to the American Immigration Lawyers Association website and the program for #AC180 http://www.aila.org/content/fileviewer.aspx?docid=38359&linkid=242621

Maybe she will join us in Nashville.

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#AC180 DWTIL, idea for 2013 conference

I’m excited for the next season of Dancing with the Stars to start.

So here’s an entertainment idea for the 2013 #AC180 annual American Immigration Lawyers Association conference.  Dancing with the Immigration Lawyers. I am certain many of us would volunteer for that.  Also, I am sure we’ve done a lot of O-1s and first preference petitions for ballroom dancers over the years! It would be a great combination, informative and entertaining.  

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catching up

A grand idea, a yr of posts and already I missed one day due to travel, H-1B mania and the copying of many exhibits for a waiver case (see, earlier thoughts on paper and my new love/hate relationship with it).

My other new rant—the lack of instructions/manuals with products. Remember when you bought an appliance and got a book with it. You had to read that book to figure out how to use the product.  Great episode of Monk yrs ago, introducing the character of his brother as a writer of instruction manuals for products.  Unsung heroes of household appliances.. 

Buy something today and no instruction included or even links to instructions. Now, as @artdiv76 says, products are intuitive.

Nice to be back.

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#AC180 Pro Bono Opportunity

Hey! I just took the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Pledge.  Lawyers promise to engage in pro bono work throughout the year. At the end of the year they can report the hours of volunteer work they have done to serve indigent or disadvantaged people who need legal help. 

AILA members can find the Pro Bono Pledge and more info at www.aila.org, AILA Doc. No. 08030580.

The annual AILA conference (AC) this June in Nashville has a great pro bono opportunity on Saturday, June 16th with a clinic hosted by Justice for Our Neighbors. You can find out more in the #AC180 AILA annual conference program. http://aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=38359

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The end of paper?

After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print, reports Julie Bosman in Wednesday’s New York Times.

The story about the Britannica no longer printing an encyclopedia makes me sad.  My dad worked on a set of encyclopedias decades ago, called the American Peoples encyclopedia. It was always nice to open the volumes and see his name listed in the credits.

Britannica deciding to stop printing makes the possibility that we’re really moving towards a paperless world very real to me. Paperless office. Paperles bookstore.  Paperless library … .

I love paper. And being an immigration lawyer, we sure find ourselves working with paper. Lots and lots of paper.  The supporting documentation for petitions and applications and answers to requests for evidence and appeals can fill many courier express boxes sent to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

Lawyers keep client files for a reasonable number of years. I have many closed paper files in storage.  I am beginning to see the attraction of paperless filing with USCIS.  The program is just starting (you can see more at www.uscis.gov, look for e-filing and also “Transformation”) and most petitions and applications or the supporting documentation for them still need to be filed on paper, but this seems to be the wave of the future.

I sure do love all my books and magazines, made of paper, but I’ve always had a fear of dying in what firemen call a Collyers’ Mansion.  There are a lot more interesting ways to go and I don’t want to be found under a pile of fashion magazines … and cookbooks … and outdated travelogues. 

One more thought on paper (which I still love). I had dinner a few months ago with a friend whose job involved the paper industry.  That friend said, paper would always be in demand. This week I hear she lost her job.  So this makes me wonder what will happen to all the people involved in the paper industry and the printing industry.

Paper and paperless. I hope to have the best of both mediums.