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How to Talk to Loved Ones About Getting Legal Help Before or During the Holidays

“Giving is a way of asking; asking is a way of giving.”

― Luigina Sgarro 

Our clients are typically at the crossroads of a worrisome legal situation involving both criminal and immigration law. When these two legal areas intersect, it highlights how criminal offenses and convictions can influence a person’s immigration status and vice versa. Over the past few decades, the intertwining of criminal and immigration law has deepened because the legal and social implications are so significant. Every aspect of your loved one’s life can be impacted by the legal situation they are in. They could be suffering in silence, even if it seems like on the outside everything is okay. Does this sound familiar? 

Another challenge is watching a family member or loved one endure this ordeal alone. Whereas you may not be in a position to help, you recognize that there are professionals who can. Despite how close assistance may be, there can be an inherent difficulty in asking for help. People may pride themselves on being self-reliant or have deep-rooted concerns about imposing their issues and stress onto others. Admitting the need for outside help can make the situation more real, and they could feel vulnerable or exposed, especially if they have been hurt previously. In this blog, we want to draw upon foundational communication principles so you can effectively encourage your loved ones to reach out for help in whatever sense they need. 

Appreciate the Seriousness of the Situation 

Before approaching a loved one or a family member, acknowledge that the conversation you are about to have is more than a legal discussion. This person is going through something equally personal and emotional. They are likely scared, vulnerable, and unsure of the future. Regardless of the advice you are prepared to give, address the topic with understanding and care. 

Be Genuine 

In 1936, Dale Carnegie published How to Win Friends and Influence People. It centers on building better relationships through listening and empathy. In it, he includes six principles of getting people to like you. These principles don’t work unless you come from a place of genuine care. Look at each principle through the eyes of someone trying to convince their loved one to get legal help for their immigration or criminal issue. 

    1. Become genuinely interested in others.
    2. Smile
    3. Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
    4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
    5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

Make a New Connection 

Though you may be starting the conversation, ensure the other person is involved in the decision-making process. Empower them; don’t tell them what to do. During the conversation, ask for their feedback, get their opinions, and respect any reservations they may have. Build collaboration through trust.  

When encouraging others to seek help, you are not expected to have all the answers. Don’t assume that not knowing something makes your position any less valid. Being transparent about the things you are uncertain about makes the conversation more genuine. More importantly, show how committed you are to helping others find the legal support they need. 

If you have a legal background, avoid using legal jargon because it can be confusing or intimidating. More importantly, use language to help them understand the stakes and how the right attorney can help them navigate the challenges ahead. If they feel overwhelmed with legal terminology, they may be less receptive to seeking legal advice. Remember, at the heart of this conversation is a loved one potentially facing a life-altering situation. With patience, empathy, and the right approach, you can guide them toward the legal help they might need and strengthen the bond you share with them.

Let Us Be Part of Your Solution 

If you or someone you love is working through a complex crimmigration issue, the best step forward is to be informed and supported. STERN Law, LLC is here to assist and provide you with the compassionate guidance you need. We understand these situations' personal and emotional weight and want to partner with you to find a resolution. Contact our office today for the first step toward building a better tomorrow.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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