Posted by George Pappas, ESQ
Steven H. Garfinkel is an outstanding immigration lawyer. I would not hesitate to recommend anyone to his firm for immigration legal services.
Posted by a Immigration client
I used Steven Garfinkel's services for H1B filing in 2003. He was recommended by the company that offered a job to me after my M.S.M.E. The initial personal consultation at his office was a 15 minute affair with Steven talking with me for less than 2-3 minutes. The rest of the time was spent with his assistant. I had to pay half of the attorney fee ($4500 - Total fee) at the first visit and sign attorney-client documents. I filled out some of the immigration related forms later on internet (his website has some client interface where one can login and fill out information). I later mailed documents to file my H1B with USCIS/INS. I had to pay the remanining attorney fee when my paperwork was filed. After that I did not get any types of updates from him or his office, My calls were not returned most of the time and I had to call multiple times. Since I paid for premium processing, my application was approved within 3-4 weeks. The application and notice was sent to my emplyer inspite of my request to send a copy to me (which I think was fair considering I paid the attorney and would assume he is working for me).
After this I assumed that I would never deal with him. But to my surprise I heard back 3 or 4 months later at my office number and was telling me that they sent 3 or 4 notices to my home address for a payment of $35 or 40 I had to pay for mailing/postal costs incurred by Garfinkel firm. Though I did not receive such notices I was surprised that a busy lawyer like him who doesnot have time to return client calls would call up for a measly $40 (let me assure that it is not someone from his firm but My. Steven Garfinkel) himself.
Overall, I would rate him below average and I think I might have been just lucky to have my H1b approved at that time. Scrutiny by USCIS was not so tough at that time (2003 was the year they had 195,000 H1B visas out of which 70k-80k went unused). I WOULD NOT DEFINITELY RECOMMEND HIM FOR H1B FILING - ESPECIALLY NOW (with all that extra scrutiny from USCIS)