BALTIMORE (WJZ) — March is Women’s History Month, and Maryland is home to thousands of extraordinary women, including the founder and president of one of the world’s leading immigration law firms, Murthy Law.
The life and career of Sheela Murthy have just been profiled in a new biography.READ MORE: 2 Charged In Shooting Of 26-Year-Old Woman In Windsor Mill
Murthy was herself, an immigrant. She has now dedicated her life to helping others who want to live and work in the country she loves.
“My sense of justice and right and wrong was very, very strong from my childhood,” she said. “And where it came from, I have no clue.”
Murthy’s childhood was spent in Gujarat, western India.
The middle child of three daughters, her father was a captain in the Army. All her life, Murthy said she knew she wanted to practise law.
“From my parents, if you weren’t a doctor or an engineer, you were practically a nobody,” she said. “And so when I say, I’m going to fight for justice and the rights of the downtrodden and underprivileged, I’m going to fight for women’s rights, everybody was like, ‘that’s great, but how are you going to eat food?'”
But Murthy has always been a very determined woman. She graduated first in her class from university law college in Bangalore and then attended Harvard law school.
After graduation, she practised at three different law firms, first in New York, then Baltimore.
But 27 years ago, with the kitchen table as her desk, she launched Murthy Law.READ MORE: LIST: Bills Passed By Maryland General Assembly This Session
Today, 100 people work in her Owings Mills offices, and Murthy Law has branches in Seattle and in India, all focusing on immigration law.
“We look at this country as this great land of milk and honey of opportunities for those who are willing to work hard and live the American dream,” Murthy said. “I think to a large extent, America is still an incredible country.”
“Americans are such good, kind generous people. America has so much to offer the world,” she added. “You know, as someone says, what a country! What a beautiful country.”
But America has not always been welcoming to new citizens. Murthy remembers the challenges after 9/11.
“From an immigrant perspective, I think it was very stressful because, of course, I am brown-skinned as you see and the terrorists were also brown-skinned and people would look at you and they didn’t know if you were a good person or a bad person,” she said.
But from a child, Murthy said she’s always believed, the difficulty is nothing more than an opportunity to grow and to learn.
Today, Murthy Law Offices has helped hundreds of thousands of people navigate through the often difficult process of immigration.
Murthy and her husband’s foundation has also given away millions of dollars to help the disadvantaged in India and the US.
“If you look at it as all of us are in this together. America is a great nation of immigrants. We all come from somewhere else but we have so much to enhance and enrich each other,” Murthy said.MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming Your Way?
Murthy’s biography is now available on Amazon.