Some lawyers have an odd concept of legal research.
As a lawyer from a civil law jurisdiction (Germany), I generally start with a look into the codes and statutes. If you are from a common law jurisdiction and nobody in your country has yet bothered to neatly and conveniently codify the law, you already have a tougher job.
But this one lawyer from Russia thought “why bother?” and just e-mailed me with the following question:
Betreff: residence permit in Germany
Von: Maria Vorontsova
Datum: Di, 16.08.2011, 07:16
Dear Andreas Moser!
I am writing to you to clarify what are the most convenient ways to get residence permit in Germany and how much does it cost? What documents should the client have? Thank you!
Maria Vorontsova, the lawyer of “Honest & Bright Company Ltd” 125047, Moscow, the 3d Tverskaya Yamskaya Street, 26, office 5+7 (495) 661-60-48; http://www.hbcomp.co.uk
Honestly, even most non-lawyers would pose a better question. I was still patient and pointed out that I would need a few more details before I could answer this question:
that depends on the type of residence permit of course, whether it is for employment, for studying or for family reunion. But to give specific advice, i would need to know much more about the respective client because the requirements vary depending on the applicant’s citizenship, professional background, family ties, language capabilities and so on. In how much detail do you want the information? What is your budget approximately?
The fact that the immigration law of Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, is a bit more complex seemed to catch Ms Vorontsova by surprise:
Well, I see. Could you please provide us the information about different variants? We’d be happy for at least general information, not considering EU residenship, student status and so on. The budget is not important, we just want to know approximately how much that could cost in Germany.
Thanks in advance!
Whenever I hear “the budget is not important” I already know that the client won’t pay. I quoted my price and – as expected – never heard from Ms Vorontsova again, despite my friendly reminder one week later.
The “Honest & Bright Company Ltd” offers “Legal services for serious people from true English company”, according to their own website. Well, the legal research they use is not better than their grammar. Better stay away from them. If you want to get a competent and free overview over German law, my FAQ about German law are a better source of information.