Our Web Site: Alive And Well After 10 Years
It was in September 1995 when our web site went online.
As the immigration-related government pages have progressively improved, I save a lot of time by linking to information contained on official web sites. We link to every conceivable immigration form, processing time and changes to the laws, regulations and policies.
And even though sometimes I wish every one of our 10,000 daily readers would become our client, if this actually occurred, I would have to increase the staff at our law firm from 20 to over 200, leaving me little time to work on the web site.
In truth, at least 1,000 of our daily readers, and 6,000 of our subscribers to our newsletter, are attorneys and paralegals from other law firms. I am happy to share information with them, and they have rewarded me by referring thousands of new clients to our law firm.
Unfortunately, two or three times, other attorneys have copied our web site word-for-word, and tried to pass it off as their own. Each time, one of my colleagues in the immigration bar has notified me of the copyright violation. I have notified the offenders of their potential liability, and they have removed our content from their sites.
Over the years, we have broken many new immigration-related stories, the latest being the retrogression of EB priority dates in the October 2005 Visa Bulletin. With our easy-to-update news ticker, we can bring a story to the attention of our readers in a matter of seconds, far ahead of newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Many reporters get ideas for immigration stories by reading our newsletter and calling us.
It's been a rewarding 10 years for me, and also for my wife (even though she jokingly refers to herself as a "Web Widow") who often helps me with the site. Sample conversation between us: "Sweetie, I'm in the middle of a consultation at the office, and the new Visa Bulletin is out. Could you update the numbers on the site, and change the news ticker while you're at it?"
Last, but not least, thanks to you, our readers, for supplying me with thousands of news tips, informing me about broken links, and especially for using our site to immigrate to the United States, often without having to pay an attorney. It is you who reinvigorate our country, making the U.S.A. such a wonderful and diverse place in which to live!
Carl Shusterman is a certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.