Murthy Law Firm Employee Profile : Andrew Steinberg, Attorney19 Nov 2009
Andrew Steinberg is no newcomer to immigration law. Before joining the Murthy Law Firm, Andrew had a long and distinguished career as a top government lawyer in the field of immigration law and policy. Andrew started his legal career in 1992, at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), handling employer compliance issues, and defending the agency in class-action lawsuits. He took on many high-profile cases, and became increasingly involved in crafting agency policies, including an overhaul of custody standards for INS detainees.
In 1998, Andrew’s legal skills and policy expertise landed him a position as a legislative counsel for INS, drafting bills, commenting on legislative proposals, and writing testimony for Congressional hearings. Andrew says the position gave him an intimate knowledge of the interagency process, because he had to coordinate INS policies with the White House, the State Department, and several other government agencies.
A year later, Andrew left the government to serve as general counsel for an Internet startup company. He says, “This was a change in perspective. I had worked for the government for many years, and now I got a chance to see things from the company side.”
In the wake of September 11, 2001, Andrew returned to the INS, and participated in its reorganization, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created, and INS was split into the USCIS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As Deputy Chief of the Enforcement Law Division at ICE, Andrew provided legal guidance on investigations, immigration detention, general litigation, and issues of national policy. In 2005, he was assigned to work at DHS headquarters, advising top officials on policy, litigation, constitutional issues, and national security – which led him to a job in the nerve center of immigration policy, the administration’s “war room” on immigration reform.
In September 2007, Andrew took a year off to study at a yeshiva in Israel. “It was a great program, on international Jewish leadership, with an emphasis on Jewish philosophy, ethics, and law.” He joined the Murthy Law Firm in February 2009, and currently works on litigation, compliance issues, and ICE investigations. Andrew says, “Typically, we represent a company during the investigation, and do an internal audit to make sure the company is compliant; we also help them fix any areas of noncompliance. I really like investigations work, because I am familiar with the way government operates, and I can bring that experience into it.”
Andrew especially enjoys handling out-of-the-ordinary H1B petitions: “I like the tough cases that require creative solutions. When you’re really able to help someone who’s in trouble, when their situation looks very difficult, it’s satisfying to get something approved that might be considered a long shot. I find it really enjoyable to represent immigration clients because you can have a direct, positive impact on someone’s life. It’s all about making sure the government does what it’s supposed to do, and treats people fairly.” He adds, “I love working here. It’s a very collegial and collaborative environment, and the other attorneys are top-notch.”