Jewish Immigration Lawyer you ask?

I get a lot of questions about immigration–every day. Questions about how to immigrate and get visas to Canada and the US come fast and furious. 

We get emails, phone calls, Facebook messages and Tweets non stop.  And that is why we are here. To help.  But every once and a while I get a strange question: “Michael, are you Jewish?” Now the last time I checked being Jewish or not has nothing to do with being a good (or bad) immigration lawyer. Yet I still get asked this from time to time.

I guess the reason is maybe Jewish lawyers have a good reputation in general. Or bad, depending on who you ask. I for one, do not believe for a second that any one’s ethnicity or religious group is determinative of anybody’s ability to be good or bad at anything, including lawyer skills. One’s ability, personal ethics and even personality in general are individual. Of course we are all influenced by our culture and backgrouds. But at the end of the day, we are who we are based on our own characters.

So when I am asked whether or not I am Jewish, I tell people that yes I grew up in a Jewish family but do you have a question about immigration?  In most cases, that does the trick to deflect the topic to the more relevant issues at hand. I am not insulted when someone asks if I am Jewish. Rather I want to be hired as an immigration lawyer because of my experience and skills as one; not because of some perception that Jewish lawyers are good. We deal with literally 100s of different ethnic groups and I have learned that there really are more similarities with people than are differences.

I know a lot of great Jewish lawyers and unfortunately some not so good ones. But the same holds true for all groups. At the end of the day, it is about your reputation and your reputation stands or falls based on your track record not your religion.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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