Setting up Private Practice in the USA

Canadian Expats and travelers in the USA can communicate with each other here!
SunnyD003New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:20 am

Setting up Private Practice in the USA

Post Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:44 am

Dear all,

First off - I apologise if this has been addressed elsewhere. I searched for this topic and couldn't find any helpful info.

I have a rather unique situation, so let me explain my background info as briefly as possible. I am a dual Canadian/British citizen. I went to law school in the UK and have lived in the deep south (MS in 2012, then GA since 2013) as a TN1 for the last 4 years or so. I have renewed my TN status once since arrival and my current visa expires April 2018. I would like to stay.

I am currently employed by the state of Georgia as a Mitigation Specialist and I defend folks facing the death penalty for Capital crimes in GA. I am about to take the NY bar exam next week. The long term plan is, once I have passed the bar, to set up a private criminal defense practice as an attorney while still doing contract Mitigation work. There are many reasons for this, but most importantly that private practice would allow me more freedom and, hopefully, more income.

I'm wondering how I can possibly achieve this and am seeking advice on whether or not this is even possible. I am young (26 years old) and at the beginning of my career, though I've accomplished a fair amount for my age. I've been published twice, I've lectured on the subject of Death Penalty Defense to law students in the UK (including at Oxford University), and I've done a little work with the media to raise awareness of capital punishment issues (magazine article and a TV interview). I'm wondering if perhaps, because of my unique field, there might be a way to obtain a status other than TN1 which is based upon unique skills or "extraordinary abilities". As I am employed by the state currently (correct me if I'm wrong) it is not an option to get them to sponsor me as I don't think they would pass the labor certification. Although, a noteworthy point, is that y job requires me to have intimate knowledge of my clients and I typically have the for 3-4 years pre-trial. I have to build a relationship with them in order to conduct my investigation. I wonder if there might be some way of using this argument to suggest that no one else could possibly do my job as well as me because they don't know my clients and it would take them months at least to get up to speed on where I am on my cases... thoughts anyone?

Anyway, the main question is whether there is a way that I could get either permanent status or more stable status in the USA that would allow me establish a private practice as an attorney, preferably while still employed by the state.

I should note that I am not dating so have no marriage prospects (or desire to marry) and am among the lowest paid mitigation specialists in the country with law school debts so cannot afford an immigration attorney.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this issue would be most appreciated. Thanks y'all (sorry).


Did you enjoy this post? Share it!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 0 guests