Murthy Law Firm Employee Profile : Derek Sewall, Attorney17 Feb 2010
Derek Sewall took an early interest in international affairs. As a teenager, he spent three summers in Latin America, building latrines and working on other health projects for a humanitarian organization, first in remote mountain villages in Ecuador, later in Paraguay, and finally in Mexico, where he led a team of construction volunteers. Derek was hooked, majoring in Latin American studies in college, and spending a semester in Chile during college, at a time when the country was still adjusting to life after Pinochet.
Derek says his interest in immigration law grew out of his fascination with international relations. When he started law school, he hadn’t settled on any single field, but he enjoyed his immigration law class and, after graduation, accepted a position with an immigration law firm in Washington, D.C. He subsequently joined the largest law firm in El Paso, Texas, as an associate in their immigration section, often representing clients before the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez. This led to a prestigious job with a major immigration firm in the Silicon Valley, and eventually to his work here at the Murthy Law Firm (MLF).
Although Derek is currently a supervising attorney in the Green Card Department at MLF, he enjoys handling a broad variety of cases, including immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas, as well as naturalization and family-based immigration cases. “I enjoy advising clients and guiding them through the complex maze of immigration laws and regulations. I don’t get to use my Spanish too much, but my international experience comes in handy every day – I appreciate different cultures, and get to meet a lot of interesting people.”
Derek also works with Attorney Sheela Murthy and other key staff to produce the MurthyBulletin each week – a challenge he relishes. “I understand that the MurthyBulletin is read not only by our clients, but by government officials, foreign nationals, and other lawyers. So many people rely on it that we need to get it right the first time. We take our publications very seriously. My philosophy is that, if you can explain the nuances of the law in plain English, without legalese, it shows that you really understand the law, and know it very well.”
Even before he came to work at MLF, Derek appreciated the wealth of free information provided by the MurthyBulletin, MurthyChat, MurthyForum, and MurthyDotCom. “I always valued the MurthyBulletin and its many offshoots, and it is a privilege for me to play a part in publishing this each week. If you give people free information that is helpful and reliable, you establish your credibility with them – it instills confidence and trust, so people naturally turn to MLF for their immigration matters.” Derek continued, “We take our publications very seriously; even during the recent blizzard, when the streets were choked with snow and the office was closed for part of the week, we still made sure the MurthyBulletin went out on schedule. People depend on us, and we can’t let them down.”