Mr. Van Der Hout has been recognized by bar associations throughout the country for his innovative and resourceful representation of immigrants. He has twice received the American Immigration Lawyers Association premier award for outstanding litigation in the field of immigration law and twice received the Carol Weiss King Award of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers’ Guild for outstanding immigration litigation. Among his many other awards, Mr. Van Der Hout was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003 as one of San Francisco’s top 25 attorneys; was named by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers in 2007; received a 2008 Attorney of the Year Clay award from California Lawyer Magazine for outstanding achievement in his field and that same year was named one of the top 100 lawyers in Northern California by Super Lawyers Magazine; received the San Francisco Lawyers’ Committee Robert G. Sproul Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Services in the Legal Field in 2009 and has been named by Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers in America every year since 1993.
Mr. Van Der Hout attended the University of Michigan, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1970. He then went on to Golden Gate University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctorate (JD) in 1977. He was national president of the National Lawyers Guild in 1985-86. Currently, Mr. Van Der Hout is an active member of the Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA) and has served on its Board every year since 1989. He is a past chair of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and has served on its governing board for the past 38 years. Mr. Van Der Hout has lectured extensively on the subject of immigration law throughout the country and has served as an adjunct professor at both Hastings College of the Law and Berkeley School of Law.
How do I choose a lawyer?
Consider the following:
- Comfort Level
- - Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your problem?
- - How long has the lawyer been in practice? Has the lawyer worked on other cases similar to yours?
- - How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
- - Is the lawyer's office conveniently located?
Not sure what questions to ask a lawyer?
Here are a few to get you started:
- How long have you been in practice?
- How many cases like mine have you handled?
- How often do you settle cases out of court?
- What are your fees and costs?
- What are the next steps?
Want to check lawyer discipline?
It is always a good idea to research your lawyer prior to hiring. Every state has a disciplinary organization that monitors attorneys, their licenses, and consumer complaints. By researching lawyer discipline you can:
- Ensure the attorney is currently licensed to practice in your state
- Gain an understanding of his or her historical disciplinary record, if any.
- Determine the seriousness of complaints/issues which could range from late bar fees to more serious issues requiring disciplinary action.