Immigration Lawyers need to be prepared for the inevitability of a USCIS delay so that when the issue arises, there is a plan of action in place. While the large majority of lawyer-filed cases are approved within expected timeframes, USCIS delays do happen and any delay is a delay too many.
The American Immigration Lawyer's Association (AILA) has just released an information sheet addressing these delays, the primary audience being those who have filed without lawyer assistance and find themselves waiting months and months with no work from Immigration.
As always, my clients can reach out to me anytime for a case checkin, and if the case is outside of normal processing time, or if there is an emergency, I will always request an expedite. Once a case is over 30 days beyond the expected case processing time, it is appropriate to call USCIS for an expedite request, and to aggressively stay on top of the requests every 30 days. If I find there is no response after 2 requests, we can get creative with an alternate expedite strategy to encourage the USCIS Officer along, which we discuss on a case by case basis if the situation arises.