The New York Times published an article a couple of days ago about the availability of quality of legal representation before the immigration court in New York. The article references a Cardozo Law Review article entitled "Assessing Justice: The Availability and Adequacy of Counsel in Immigration Proceedings."
Immigration Judges (IJ) estimated that from an approximately one-year period between 2010 and 2011 33% of the cases involve lawyers that have provided “inadequate” representation, and “grossly inadequate” representation in 14% of the cases. The IJs viewed private lawyers least favorably, which according to the Times piece, may be attributable to "predatory" "ambulance-chasing-style lawyers" that are not familiar with immigration law and who are primarily responsible for the low grades.
The moral of the story is make sure that you do your research before hiring an immigration lawyer to represent you in a deportation proceeding.
Click here to read the N.Y. Times article.
Click here to read the Cardozo Law Review article.