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Sheela Murthy

Sheela Murthy

Founder & President
Murthy Law Firm

Sheela Murthy

Sheela Murthy

From the very beginning of her law practice, Sheela Murthy has been engaged in philanthropy. Starting in the mid-1990s, she used her firm’s website,, to educate people about U.S. immigration law. This early work on the internet drew a large following and shaped the law firm. It is one of the most-viewed legal websites in the world.

Murthy was born in India and was deeply influenced by her father, who worked hard to become an officer in the Indian army after growing up in poverty. He told his daughters it was an accident of birth that made them fortunate daughters instead of children in a poor family.

Murthy graduated from Harvard Law School and is admitted to practice as an attorney in New York, Maryland and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Helping others inspires and informs all of Murthy’s work. As an immigrant, Murthy knows how complex applications can be and how long one must wait. At Murthy Law Firm, she asks attorneys, paralegals and client service staff to be patient and sympathetic with clients. If clients call often, it is not because they are trying to be difficult; it is because they are worried about the direction of the rest of their lives.

Murthy and her husband, Vasant Nayak, started the Murthy-Nayak Foundation (MNF) to help with children’s and women’s health and educational needs, orphanages and old-age homes, and to support programs that assist immigrants to the United States, educate and advocate for U.S. immigration and support disaster relief efforts.
Murthy also is co-chair for the United Way of Central Maryland Women’s United Women’s Forum, a member of Stevenson University Board of Trustees, a member of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce Foundation Committee and a legal adviser for IT Serve Alliance.

She presents papers and speaks on complex immigration law issues before the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and other national and international organizations. She is a past member of the American Immigration Council’s Board of Trustees (2002-2009) and, for a number of years, co-chaired the American Immigration Council’s Annual Immigrant Achievement Awards.

“I am honored to join the Circle of Influence,” Murthy said. “I humbly accept this award on behalf of the millions of hard-working immigrants who have come to this great country, a nation of immigrants, to realize their American dream, and who, like me, believe in hard work and giving back to this country, to help make America the greatest nation on earth.”

Leadership has many aspects but the one that I believe is most meaningful is servant leadership with the goal to serve and lead by example, helping, mentoring, supporting and empowering others.”

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's 2019 Influential Marylanders awards.

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