Sheela Murthy, Attorney

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Founder and president of the Murthy Law Firm, Sheela Murthy completed her Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Harvard Law School, and has been admitted to practice as an attorney in New York, Maryland, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Located in Baltimore County, Maryland, the firm of approximately 100 professionals concentrates in U.S. immigration law. Murthy practiced with major law firms in New York and Baltimore before launching the Murthy Law Firm in 1994.

She presents papers and speaks on complex immigration law issues for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and other national and international organizations, including the International Bar Association in London and the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg. She is a past member of the Board of Trustees (2002-2009) and co-chaired the American Immigration Council (AIC)’s Annual Immigrant Achievement Awards, which selects and honors outstanding immigrants who have made notable contributions to American life. The Murthy Law Firm continues to be a generous sponsor of the AIC.

Murthy travels to meet with senior officials of U.S. consulates abroad, as well as the different USCIS service centers in the U.S., to discuss policies and procedures. This enables the Murthy Law Firm to better serve and advocate for its clients. She is fluent in Kannada, Hindi, and French.

A regularly featured writer, sharing information with her colleagues on consular matters and other immigration law topics, Murthy is often called upon by television network affiliates and newspapers to discuss immigration law, she is also featured in many international publications for her worldwide practice, for her leadership in the business community, and for her philanthropic work. She and her firm have been awarded the AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. This is the highest rating for lawyers and represents a measure of esteem for which attorneys strive. It recognizes Ms. Murthy for her outstanding legal abilities, acknowledged by her peers, and signifies the highest professional ethics and conduct. A video introduction of Sheela Murthy is available on YouTube. Ms. Murthy has been featured in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, and a blog and video feature by The Story Exchange.

Notable among her many awards and honors over the years:

  • Induction to the MD Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame (2023)
  • Induction to the Baltimore Sun Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement (2023)
  • Best Law Firms: U.S. News Best Lawyers® (Tier 1 in 2023)
  • Best Lawyers® in America (2016-Present)
  • Maryland Super Lawyer (2007-Present)
  • Publication of “Being Sheela” – Biography on the life and work of Ms. Murthy, Harper Collins (2021)
  • 20 Most-Admired CEOs in Maryland (2016)
  • Clementine Peterson Award for Philanthropy, United Way of Central Maryland (2014)
  • 50 Most Influential Marylanders (2012)
  • 500/5000, Firm among fastest growing private companies in America (2010)
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2009)
  • Global Leadership Award by State of Maryland (2009)
  • Philanthropist of the Year, Tocqueville Society, United Way (2009)
  • Leadership in Law Award, The Daily Record (2008)
  • Circle of Excellence of the Top 100 Women (2007)
  • 40 Under 40 Emerging Business Leaders (2001)
  • Top 25 lawyers in Baltimore-Washington, Baltimore Business Journal (1999)

Murthy is also known for her philanthropy. She is generous with financial donations through the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, but she is also generous with her time. She serves on numerous boards, sharing her time and business acumen to strengthen area nonprofits and other organizations. Currently, Murthy serves on the following boards, councils, and committees:

  • MurthyNAYAK Foundation, Founder and Chair, Board of Directors (2001-Present)
  • Baltimore Museum of Art, Board of Trustees (2019-Present)
  • Maryland Institute College of Art, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees (2018-Present)
  • IT Serve Alliance, Legal Advisor (2016-Present)
  • United Way of Central Maryland, Chair, Tocqueville Society (2023-2024)
  • JHPIEGO, Board of Advisors, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University (2010-2024)

A member of several legal and professional organizations, Murthy is active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and has been on the Executive Committee of its Washington D.C. Chapter. Prior to this, she was chair of the Liaison Committee to the Department of Labor for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. for the AILA D.C. Chapter. She continues to be a leader in the organization.

Among Murthy’s past service to boards, councils, and committees:

  • Maryland Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Chair, Board of Directors (2020-2022)
  • Stevenson University, Board of Trustees (2008-2017, 2019-2022)
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Eastern Region, Board of Directors (2011-2021)
  • ASHA for Women, Washington D.C., Board of Advisors (2009-2020)
  • TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) D.C., President, Board of Directors (2018)
  • Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Chair, Board of Directors, (2015-2017)
  • Pratham D.C., Board of Directors (2010-2016)
  • United Way of Central Maryland, Board of Directors (2009-2015)
  • United Way Worldwide, Chair, Leadership Council for India (2011-2015)
  • Maryland India Business Round Table, Global Business Advisory Board (2010-2014)
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together, Council of Advisors (2000-2014)
  • Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, Chair, Board of Directors (2010-2014)
  • Harvard Law School, Dean’s Advisory Council, Cambridge, MA (2009-2012)
  • Bar Association of Baltimore City, YLS, Executive Committee (1989-1994)

See also:

Sheela Murthy: Personal Profile
Meet Sheela Murthy!
Attorney Murthy Speaks!

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