[Q] When hiring a US immigration attorney, is it important that the immigration attorney be an AILA member?
As some of you may already know, "AILA" stands for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. I would say most "serious" US immigration attorneys do belong to AILA, but I can imagine very experienced U.S. immigration attorneys who choose not to belong to AILA, simply because they know enough about their area of practice and they can keep up with new developments on their own.
The level and years of experience in certain fields of U.S. immigration law differ greatly among even AILA U.S. immigration attorneys. Anyway, belonging to AILA should not be the sole criteria. You should retain an experienced and capable US immigration attorney regardless of whether that attorney is an AILA member or not. Also, I would even say I rather go with an immigration attorney not as experienced but who is very motivated, smart and will work hard for you, rather than an experienced immigration attorney who you think is a lazy bum and not very responsive to your questions. Anyway, it is up to you to decide if the person you want to retain is capable in the EB-5 area.
** Having said this, said writer has been an AILA member for I think over 16 years or so, but really, this fact alone should not be the reason why you should retain someone.