News

New Practice Niche? Finance and Immigration Meet in EB-5 Visa Practice

From time to time I get calls from lawyers who are seeking to build more business. They invariably want to know whether I can suggest any underserved practice areas.

My first response is to recommend that they call the Lawyer Referral Service and ask whether there are currently any practice areas in which we don’t have enough names to be able to effectively make referrals. The service is a great marketing resource for our lawyers at only $100 per year. We have recently increased our online marketing of the service to individuals and small businesses who need a lawyer but don’t know how to find one, and the quality of the referrals – and the satisfaction of referral service members – continues to increase.

More and more frequently, though, I come across information in the news that makes me think, “If I were in practice, I’d take a look at getting some of that business.” So I’ve decided to start passing that information along in the form of posts on possible emerging niche practices. This morning’s story on NPR about the EB-5 visa program was not the first I’ve heard. There was also one on Market Place Morning Report.

The EB-5 program enables foreigners who are willing to invest at least $500,000 in U.S. businesses and create 10 jobs to obtain a green card to live and work here.  The program sets aside 5,000 visas for investors and another 5,000 for entrepreneurs who are willing to invest a minimum of $1,000,000 to start their own businesses. These clients need not only immigration services but also corporate and business legal services. According to the story, the program will expire in 2012 if not extended by Congress, which has resulted in a flurry of well-heeled clients who’d like to get their names in the hat, just in case.

Sounds like a practice niche that might be worth looking in to.