Why Your Submissions Should Be Short
When I was at school I did well. I received distinctions in Maths 1 and Maths 2 and Physics and Chemistry and Economics. Where I didn’t do as well as in English. I only was able to manage a “credit” in English.
On the day I was required to make a selection of what I would choose as my preferred university degree, I was hell bent on choosing Commerce. It was only that year that a combined Degree in Commerce and Law was offered for the very first time.
I walked in for my 10 min chat with my form master at Brisbane Grammar School’s “E” block. My English teachers had given me poor English grades over the years. I could never achieve the marks attained by the boy sitting next to me. Tim Hooper wrote some of the most brilliant essays at our school.
What’s Best Practice & What Works
When my form master suggested to me that I should select a combined Degree, one including law, I was astonished. I thought he was being sarcastic. My teacher quickly went on to explain to me that the best lawyers are the ones that can identify relevant issues and respond to these issues succinctly with a short well-structured argument.
I decided to try my hand at a combined degree – a law degree in combination with business. Today I still listen to my English teacher and I ensure that every submission I do is as short and as succinct as possible.
Keep It Simple
The reason for this is that many decision-makers are inherently lazy people who believe they know it all. That is not to say that they are bad people. (I often dream of being a decision-maker myself!).
What is important is that your communication with a decision-matter persuades them (as quickly as possible) to make a decision in your favour … to do this, the submission better be succinct! It must help the decision-maker rather than cause them grief, including by giving them unnecessary material to read and later reference in their decision records.
Too Much Rope
Another reason why you should have succinct submissions is that it is possible in some cases to give the department “rope with which to hang you”. Superfluous additional materials can raise issues which are not directly relevant to the core issues but could raise questions prejudicial to your application.
Today I peruse the submissions of many practitioners in the migration advice industry with the view of identifying legal error, exploring opportunities for appeal or seeking remedies for clients from agents who have deliberately or inadvertently let their clients down.
The Best Submissions
I am astonished with some of the unnecessary complexity inherent in many submissions. Many advisors fall into the trap of believing that longer more complex submissions are better submissions.
The view that longer submissions are more compelling “better” submissions or that longer submissions represent better value for money for clients is too often held by laypersons, but it is a view that is inconceived.
The only thing that one needs to consider when writing a submission is whether or not your clients point is advanced. The critical factor that could lead to a longer bundle is the quantity and the length of each document which is referenced, in your otherwise succinct argument.
What A Great Submission Looks Like.
You must have a very succinct statement (letter) as to why a favourable decision should be made and indeed can be made quickly by the decision maker, because of the submission provided.
You should have a chronology which lists a series of relevant events in your immigration journey. This is usually a three column table. In the first column state the date. In the second column state the event. In the third column add comments as to why this event is relevant and what supporting material (attached) relates to this event.
The chronology should be followed by relevant supporting documents (with an index) which support the chronology that you are making. Each supporting document should be labels (for example “A”) and mentioned in the chronology.
The entire submission should be nothing more than this. Be aware of the lawyer who puts in submissions which are overly complicated or submissions muddied with volumes and volumes of material.