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Work authorization permits issued in error [Video]

Work authorization permits issued in error

Hello, and welcome to INSZoom’s video blog. After a federal court put one of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration on hold, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services mistakenly issued approximately 2,000 work authorization permits. These permits would have granted a three-year extension to visa holders, but the court is evaluating whether the injunction should stand.

Although the executive action was temporarily halted in February, USCIS released the permits in error and is working to correct the issue. The Department of Justice aims convert the three-year renewals to two-year terms, which the recipients are eligible for under a 2012 program. 

The DOJ is investigating the cause of the mistake. Although the government announced its plans to begin issuing three-year extensions in November, the DOJ said no applications would be processed until mid-February, which likely contributed to the confusion.

Thanks for watching, and check back with INSZoom for more immigration news. 

The benefits of automation for law firms [Video]

The benefits of automation for law firms

Hello and welcome to INSZoom’s video blog. Immigration law firms typically have their hands full, especially during H-1B season. Automating key processes helps firms save time and money while reaching a new level of efficiency. Although many attorneys realize the benefits of streamlining their workflows, they often don’t have the time to consider new systems.

Because immigration cases involve many of the same forms, your firm can benefit from automation. Depending on the number of cases your firm handles each month or year, automating forms and data entry can be a major time saver.

With INSZoom, you get predefined templates, making the job far easier. These templates are customizable to meet your firm’s needs. 

Thanks for watching and check back with INSZoom for more immigration news.

Stay organized with the cloud [Video]

Stay organized with the cloud

Hello and welcome to INSZoom’s video blog. Does your law firm have multiple offices with people who need to collaborate on a daily basis? Without a cloud platform, this process can be difficult and lawyers may not be able to access the forms and case documents they need. 

Immigration case management software makes it easier for firms to collaborate and foster strong communication across different offices. Employees can share forms with others, reducing the time it takes to process certain paperwork. As cases progress, attorneys are able to update notes within the CMS, keeping everyone on the same page so no deadlines fall through the cracks. 

Cloud-based databases help firms keep their contacts in one place, further enhancing organization.

Thanks for watching and check back with INSZoom for more immigration news.

Manage cases better with email [Video]

Manage cases better with email

Hello and welcome to INSZoom’s video blog. Today we’ll be talking about the importance of staying on top of case milestones with email. INSZoom’s case management platform integrates with Microsoft Outlook to send alerts and help attorneys manage their calendars.

Juggling multiple cases at once is challenging if lawyers don’t have a strong grasp on when court dates or deadlines are approaching. INSZoom streamlines all case milestones into Outlook, a platform that employees are likely familiar with. 

Attorneys can easily view events and expiration dates within the Outlook interface, ensuring no case work is ever missed. This approach also saves time because employees don’t have to switch back and forth between two different platforms. In addition, INSZoom’s case management platform allows you to set alerts when deadlines are coming up. 

Thanks for watching and check back with INSZoom for more immigration news. 

Take advantage of reporting capabilities in your immigration case management software program [VIDEO]

Use your immigration case management system's reports to track your business.

Transcript

A main benefit derived from using an immigration case management software program is the ability to generate routine and custom reports in order to track not only your individual cases, but also overall business and profit.

You can set up expiration reports to track the status of your clients’ matters, which will also help you spot new opportunities. Expiration reports are one of many types of built-in reports in case management platforms that help you track your caseload. Not only will you know exactly where each case is in the immigration process at any time, but you’ll be less likely to miss important deadlines and court dates.

Some software providers – like INSZoom​ – will also work with attorneys and law firms to create custom reports. This provides you with the ability to build reports specifically tailored to your practice and preferences.

Check back for more information on how INSZoom can help you manage your immigration cases. 

Improve work-life balance with technology

Use technology to create better work-life balance in your firm.

Law firms have a reputation for having poor work-life balance, but this doesn't need to be the case. Having time to do things outside of work is particularly important to young lawyers because they want to focus on their other interests or may be planning to have a family someday. While some aspects of the legal field will never change, firms can improve work-life balance without decreasing case loads. Fortunately, technology helps attorneys handle their work and saves time.

What is work-life balance and why is it so important?
For many people, half of their waking hours are dedicated to their careers, but it may be even more in the legal field, according to the American Bar Association. In addition, young attorneys face more pressure than older lawyers because they need to impress people to make partner or be hired as in-house counsel, which often means putting in longer hours and taking on extra work. Young professionals may feel like they are trying to cram all their personal responsibilities into their time outside of work, giving them a poor sense of balance. 

A lack of balance can cause severe stress over time. Law can be particularly difficult for women, who are most likely to leave the profession because they don't want to give up on other interests. Over time, poor work-life balance causes burnout, which includes stress, depression, insomnia and chronic fatigue. 

Proper work-life balance means attorneys have time to focus on their mental health without losing sight of all the important milestones in their case loads. Work-life balance benefits law firms as well because it keeps employees happy, and thus more productive and efficient. Additionally, turnover impairs productivity for the attorneys who stay at a firm. People aren't as likely to do their best work when they are stressed and have no time for themselves. However, there are steps firms can take to enable better work-life balance.

Many lawyers struggle with poor work-life balance.Many lawyers struggle with poor work-life balance.

How to improve work-life balance
Organization is key for improving work-life balance. An immigration case management platform helps lawyers get organized and save time without missing any deadlines. When attorneys know exactly what they need to work on, they aren't wasting time. INSZoom sends alerts when important case milestones are approaching so lawyers are always aware of what needs to be done. 

Creating a virtual law office can help attorneys achieve better work-life balance. With the right technology, firms can allow employees to work remotely, which gives lawyers more flexibility. Lawyers don't need to worry about how lengthy commutes impact their balance, and they can take care of family obligations. Case management software makes this possible without compromising the level of service lawyers provide. 

With INSZoom, all the important case documents are accessible through the program. Plus, the platform has customizable templates to help attorneys save even more time when filling out forms. The comprehensive features allow attorneys to save time, giving them the ability to work smarter rather than harder.

Cloud-based immigration software allows you to work anywhere [VIDEO]

Attorneys can stay connected anywhere with a cloud-based case management system.

Transcript

As an attorney in a high-tech world, you need to be able to stay in touch with your clients anywhere in the world and at all times.

You can achieve this connectivity by using a cloud-based immigration case management software system. This type of program will give you access to your client information and files at any hour, no matter where you travel.

This allows you to stay up to date on developments in your clients’ cases, even while you travel for other matters. You’ll also be able to keep your clients informed, which increases overall engagement and satisfaction with your services.

Don’t use a case management program that ties you down to the office. Instead, use a system that allows you to work quickly and efficiently anywhere you choose.

Check back for more information on how INSZoom can help you manage your immigration cases.

The importance of client satisfaction

Client satisfaction influences a firm's profitability.

Delivering a high level of service is crucial for law firms to keep clients happy. A satisfied client base increases an attorney's chances for retention and creates an opportunity for client referrals. Many law firms think their clients are satisfied, but they have no way of knowing. Just because clients pay their bills on time does not mean they are completely happy with the service, even if their cases are being resolved in a timely fashion. Clients expect their cases to be resolved, so unless attorneys go above and beyond, clients may not be satisfied. The right immigration case management help law firms manage client satisfaction and expectations while also handling all important case deadlines. 

Get to know the decision-makers
Attorneys may have a strong connection with their day-to-day contacts, but having a good relationship with key decision-makers is another matter entirely. The primary contact may not be the one who makes the decision to hire or fire a law firm. Attorneys need to know who the decision-maker is and connect with him or her directly when possible. 

Why clients leave a firm
Attorneys are often caught off guard when clients leave, but there may be signs individuals are about to go elsewhere. What are the most common reasons clients are unhappy with the service they get at a law firm? Too many surprises during the work, exceeding the agreed upon budget and a lack of respect for the client's internal deadlines are all factors in an individual's decision to seek legal services elsewhere. Additionally, if clients have to chase their attorneys down to get an update on the status of the case, it causes unhappiness. When these clients take an unusually long time to follow up on communication or resist paying their invoices, it may already be too late to turn the relationship around. 

Start client relationships off on the right foot.Start client relationships off on the right foot.

Focus on client satisfaction from the beginning to improve retention rates
For many law firms, clients won't tell their attorneys when they're unhappy. They will simply move on. In many client service fields, only a small portion of unhappy customers will complain about a service. This figure may be even smaller in the legal industry because some clients are intimidated by their lawyers, and there is a great deal at stake in immigration law. Attorneys need to think about what is most important to their client base.

Just doing the case work does not lead to lasting satisfaction. Firms need to go above and beyond clients' expectations to win lasting approval. It's crucial attorneys consider how their firms perform compared to competitors because it can help them identify further advantages. Communication is key to great client relationships, and many lawyers may have room for improvement in this area. Although law firms have more tools at their disposal for maintaining contact with clients, some may not be using email or digital marketing effectively. Because immigration matters are a top concern for clients, they need speedy responses to any inquiries.

"Just doing the case work does not lead to lasting satisfaction."

Lawyers can better manage their client relationships and manage expectations by telling clients upfront how long they will typically wait to hear back. Emails from an attorney about the status of an immigration case can provoke an emotional response. Although many attorneys are plugged into their mobile devices all day, it doesn't necessarily mean they should reply to emails at all hours of the day because this creates unrealistic client expectations. However, lawyers should respond to all inquiries between 24 and 48 hours. 

INSZoom helps law firms boost client satisfaction
INSZoom's sophisticated immigration case management platform enables firms to better keep track of all case documents, preventing anything from slipping through the cracks. In addition, this tool makes it easier to send information to clients and collaborate. Lawyers can automate reminders when key deadlines approach and check in with clients, even during a quiet phase in clients' cases. Law firms need to proactively manage client satisfaction to maintain profitability. 

INSZoom also makes it simple for attorneys to send digital invoices to clients, who can then pay through an online portal. The added convenience works to improve client satisfaction, ensuring individuals pay on time. 

What a high number of H-1B petitions means for employers [Video]

What high number of H-1B petitions means for employers

For the third year in a row, the H-1B cap was reached within days of the season opening. 

What should employers expect now that H-1B season is already closed? U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a federally mandated cap of 85,000 H-1B visas per year, including the advanced degree exemption. The number of applications varies each year based on economic factors. For example, during the recession the cap often did not fill up for months after the annual H-1B season opened in April. This year, USCIS only accepted petitions for five days before closing the season. 

This means employers that hire H-1B employees only have a one in three chance of getting their petitions approved. Unless the cap increases, next year’s H-1B season will likely see a high number of applications because those who don’t qualify this year may try to reapply during the next season. 

Thanks for watching and keep up with INSZoom for more immigration news. 

Make the move to digital intake forms [VIDEO]

Attorneys and HR professionals should move away from inefficient paper client intake forms.

Transcript

Standard practice for years has included paper intake forms for new or prospective clients. However, the rise of the digital age is making your paper forms obsolete.

Instead of a piece of paper that can get pushed to the back of a filing cabinet, you should use digital client intake forms. Digital forms are stored in and easily accessed from your cloud-based immigration case management program.

Potential clients can be sent to the client portal, where they can create a login and fill in your template or customized questionnaire. Your case management platform can then be set to create reminders to check back in with these newcomers to solidify a relationship and gain new work.

Check back for more information on how INSZoom can help you manage your immigration cases.

           
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