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American Immigration Council

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The American Immigration Council (AIC, formerly AILF, the American Immigration Law Foundation) is a nonprofit organization that promotes the prosperity and diversity of our nation by educating people about the enduring benefits of immigration, and by preserving a legal framework that will help America continue to be a nation of immigrants. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation supports the work of AIC through annual financial contributions and participation in its work. Attorney Sheela Murthy has served in as an advisor to this influential organization, and is a trustee emerita of AIC.

AIC’s legal advocacy arm, the Legal Action Center, litigates important test cases on immigration issues of vital interest to the just administration of our immigration laws, and files amicus curiae briefs in cases of special significance. It also provides information resources for legal professionals involved in immigration litigation and works with a coalition of lawyers and immigrant rights advocates to promote the just and fair administration of our immigration laws.

AIC also works to educate the public about immigration issues, and seeks to dispel popular misconceptions through its Community Education Center, highlighting the contributions of immigrants to the rich diversity of our society. AIC provides authoritative research and analysis on the public policy of immigration through its Immigration Policy Center, and sponsors international exchange visitors to the United States through an internship and training program.

Further information on AIC is on the web


And Justice For All: MNF Supports Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

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Among our most sacred and fundamental blessings in this country is the rule of law – what John Adams aptly described as a government of laws, not of men – a system that protects freedom generally by securing the rights of the individual. American courts provide a forum where every citizen can seek relief from trespasses against their rights. Our Constitution enshrines the principle that where there’s a wrong, there’s a remedy.

The problem is: these rights don’t enforce themselves, and not everyone can afford to hire a lawyer to vindicate their rights in court, when the need arises. Enter, the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland – a nonprofit whose mission is “to promote equal access to justice in Maryland by coordinating and supporting volunteer civil legal services, providing resources and support for legal advocates for the poor, and promoting cooperation within the legal community.”

The MurthyNAYAK Foundation recently made a major gift to support the outstanding work of the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, including its projects in foreclosure prevention, consumer protection, family mediation, and veterans’ benefits assistance. PBRC helps attorneys to provide pro bono legal services, by helping to recruit, train, recognize, and support pro bono lawyers who provide legal services to the poor – not for pay, but for the public good.

MNF supports PBRC because we believe that, in a democratic society, the rights of all people matter – especially of those whose economic circumstances make them vulnerable to exploitation. Further information on the PBRC is on the web at

Copyright © 2014, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

MNF Sponsors 26th Annual Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger

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Too often, it’s assumed that poverty and hunger aren’t really a problem in stable, industrialized democracies like the United States. The sad truth is: even here in Maryland – a wealthy state in a prosperous country – more than 781,000 people face crippling food insecurity.

That’s where the Maryland Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger comes in. Each year, the campaign raises thousands of dollars to benefit the Maryland Food Bank, which serves Baltimore County, Western Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, and the Capital Area Food Bank, which serves Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. This campaign relies on the generosity of Maryland’s legal community to meet the needs of their fellow citizens, needs that have grown more acute during the economic downturn.

The MurthyNAYAK Foundation is proud to be among the major donors to this worthy and compelling cause. Our commitment extends beyond making a significant financial contribution; Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, is a member of the campaign’s 2013 Honorary Committee, joining the likes of Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, as well as Governor Martin O’Malley, in supporting the Maryland Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger.

Help brighten up the New Year for a neighbor in need! You can donate online to the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger.

Copyright © 2014, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

MNF Sponsors MLF Attorney in Feed Annapolis

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Like so many of his colleagues, Murthy Law Firm attorney Kevin Andrews is an avid volunteer and a generous giver to worthy causes in the community. As an athlete and active outdoorsman, Kevin often combines his fundraising efforts with a good workout: overnight ruck marches to support wounded veterans, endurance races that challenge body, mind, and spirit, and even less-strenuous fun runs, like the Feed Annapolis 5-Miler that he did in August.

The race raised funds to provide food for needy children in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County schools – children who receive government-subsidized meals at school, but often have nothing to eat when they get home. It’s a bigger issue than most of us realize, in part because it’s under the radar: in a recent survey, more than 40 percent of elementary and middle school teachers said that children coming to school hungry – due to lack of sufficient food at home – is a serious problem in their classrooms!

The MurthyNAYAK Foundation was proud to sponsor Kevin and his team. More than 30 of Kevin’s Murthy Law Firm colleagues also made donations, in cash and in kind, to support the Feed Annapolis event. Kevin learned of the race through a friend, and contacted the race organizers to see how he could help. He was shocked to learn of the extent of childhood hunger in Annapolis, an affluent community with many hidden pockets of poverty.

According to Kevin, “One of the school counselors told me the kids also need hygiene products. He said a seven-year-old won a prize at school, and asked if he could get deodorant for his parents, instead of the candy! That just blew me away, so I eMailed all my colleagues at the firm and asked for donations, and offered to carry whatever they gave me. They contributed nearly 300 pounds of laundry soap, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and soap, all in less than 48 hours – which, to me, speaks volumes about their generosity!”

Kevin and his friends built a wooden platform and carried all 300 pounds of the donated items for the entire length of the racecourse – and to make it more entertaining, he raced in his Spiderman costume! The event raised $14,000, and contributed 400 boxes of food to help keep Annapolis children from going hungry. With the help of the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, and his Murthy Law Firm colleagues, Kevin was able to do some serious good, but with a sense of fun, and obvious joy in giving!

Copyright © 2013, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

MurthyNAYAK Foundation Supports TANA

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Sheela Murthy and Vasant Nayak are profoundly committed to helping others and giving back to the communities: their adopted hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and their ancestral homeland of India, where they spent their formative years. These are the communities that helped them to become who they are today. In this spirit, the MurthyNAYAK Foundation (MNF) recently provided a substantial financial contribution to the Telugu Association of North America (TANA), continuing its longstanding support for the oldest and largest Indo-American organization in North America.

TANA’s mission closely matches the philanthropic interests of Murthy and Nayak: it exists to identify and address social, cultural, and educational needs of the North American Telugu community, and Telugu people in general. It also aims to preserve the ties of heritage, culture, and language for Telugu people living in the diaspora, and showcase Telugu arts and culture. Through its charitable arm, the TANA Foundation, it spends millions of dollars each year in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, funding critically important projects in education, sanitation, public health, and in other key areas of concern.

Both Sheela Murthy and Vasant Nayak have deep roots in south India, and they’ve never forgotten where they came from. They have invested in projects to improve conditions in their native India, across several domains of need, with special focus on education, nutrition, and the empowerment of women and girls. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation is proud of its association with TANA, and delighted to support the vital work they do, here and in India.

Copyright © 2013, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Murthy Raising Funds to Fight Domestic Abuse

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Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, was delighted to be among the multitude of supporters who turned out to support ASHA for Women at its 24th Anniversary Gala Celebration, held September 14, 2013, at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia. ASHA for Women is a Washington-based nonprofit that helps meet the special needs of domestic violence victims from South Asia: it provides culturally appropriate multi-lingual support services, ranging from attorney referrals to psychological counseling. For South Asian women living in abusive circumstances, ASHA for Women is a lifeline, especially when barriers of language and culture might otherwise prevent them from getting the help they need.

At the gala, Ms. Murthy had the pleasure of introducing Women Off the Map, a six-minute documentary made by her husband, Vasant Nayak, which he filmed in the village of Neemrana in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India. The film vividly illustrates the women’s struggles to have their contributions – and their personal potential – recognized in a male-dominated, rural society.

Ms. Murthy also served as auctioneer for the fundraising portion of the evening, energizing the audience and spurring them on to increase their bids. Murthy spoke passionately about her own commitment to the cause, and why she hoped others would join her in this important work. And join her they did, opening their hearts – and checkbooks – and giving generously to ensure that ASHA’s services will continue to reach those who need it most.

The Murthy Law Firm and its charitable wing, the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, were platinum sponsors of this event, and proud to support the vital mission of ASHA for Women: giving hope and new life to survivors of domestic violence.

Copyright © 2013, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Foundation Supports Employee Volunteerism!

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The MurthyNAYAK Foundation does its share to encourage volunteerism among Murthy Law Firm (MLF) employees, supporting their efforts to raise funds for – and awareness of – many worthy causes that need greater attention. Two recent examples:

  • Pam Genise, a Supervising Attorney and Member of MLF, joined friends and family for a fundraising Walk for Muscular Dystrophy in Seattle, Washington, where her sister serves as fundraising coordinator. With support from the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, Pam’s team raised more than $3,400, and was named the top corporate team for the event, which raised over $72,000. The funds will support research to improve the treatment of neuromuscular diseases, and assist patients and families in dealing with the debilitating effects of these illnesses.
  • Jessica Beaver, an attorney in MLF’s green card department, organized a large contingent of volunteers from our firm to participate in the “Red Shoe Shuffle” 5K race to benefit Baltimore’s Ronald McDonald House, which provides a home away from home for critically ill children and their families. Ronald McDonald House not only provides lodgings and social support for these families – many of which have travelled long distances to receive treatment in Baltimore – it also funds local programs to promote the overall wellbeing of children. The event raised more than $250,000, and received generous sponsorship from the MurthyNAYAK Foundation.

The Murthy Law Firm makes a concerted effort to hire well-rounded people: smart, hardworking individuals with good brains and good hearts. At work, our attorneys and support staff go the extra mile to take good care of our clients, giving them the outstanding legal counsel and client service that sets the industry standard. In their free time, they give back to the community, generously sharing their time, talents, and treasure to make the world a better place. That’s just the kind of people they are, and the MurthyNAYAK Foundation is glad to support their good works!

Copyright © 2013, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Donates Computers

Murthy Law Firm Donates Computers

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It was like Christmas in July for three Baltimore-area nonprofits that recently received several gently used computers and printers to support their good works in the community:

  • The Children’s Guild of Baltimore, a pioneer in meeting the special needs of children with autism and other mental health challenges. It provides a full range of educational and support services for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders. In 2012, The Children’s Guild honored Sheela Murthy for her outstanding humanitarian work and philanthropy.
  • St. Luke’s Youth Center, whose after-school and “Safe Saturday” programs provide balanced meals, fellowship, computer access, and academic support to children in a West Baltimore neighborhood that’s been plagued by violence and drug trafficking. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation has also provided significant financial support to the St. Luke’s Summer Program.
  • El Centro de Ayuda, an Annapolis-based nonprofit that helps Latino families to learn English, find work, and become more self-sufficient, in pursuit of the American dream. Its programs, services, and funding are dedicated to assisting lawful permanent residents, legal immigrants, and new U.S. citizens.

Until recently, the donated equipment was in use at the Murthy Law Firm. To stay on the cutting edge of technology, the Murthy Law Firm replaced its computers earlier this year, upgrading to an advanced touchscreen system. The “old” computers – actually of recent vintage – were readied for their new lives in service to the above organizations.

It’s one more way the Murthy Law Firm and the MurthyNAYAK Foundation are working together to “pay it forward.” As a firm that pioneered the use of digital technology to serve our clients better, we know technology matters, and we are proud to support these worthy organizations – and we’re delighted to contribute to their efforts to bridge the digital divide!

Copyright © 2013, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

A World Without Alzheimer's

Foundation Helps Fight Alzheimer’s

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The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Maryland held its annual fundraising gala, the 2013 Memory Ball, at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore on April 13th. This year’s theme was “Dancing Stars,” featuring several prominent local personalities who performed a ballroom or Latin-style dance – à la ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” – each competing to raise the most “votes” for their evening. At one dollar per vote, the dancers raised more than $338,500 for the Alzheimer’s Association!

Mary Pat Seurkamp, president emerita of Notre Dame of Maryland University, was among the community leaders who generously volunteered to be “Dancing Stars” at the event. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation was delighted to be among Ms. Seurkamp’s sponsors, helping her to raise nearly $20,000 for our local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, which attacks the brain and leads to problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Alzheimer’s not only affects the estimated 5.4 million people in the United States who have the disease, but some 15 million more Americans who are their caregivers. Although medication is available to palliate the symptoms, there still is no way to prevent, cure, or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Maryland helps Alzheimer’s patients and their families to find appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and long-term care to deal with this devastating illness. We are proud to support this important work, and we congratulate our good friend, Mary Pat Seurkamp, for her grace on the dance floor and her success in helping a very good cause!

Copyright © 2013, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.


Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk

Conquering Breast Cancer, One Step at a Time

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Sheela Murthy’s friend and colleague, Kathy Snyder, will walk in the 2013 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk in Cleveland, to raise money to fight breast cancer. Ms. Snyder is taking this walk to show support for her sister-in-law, Donna, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation is pleased to support Ms. Snyder’s worthwhile efforts.

In her day job, Kathy Snyder is president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the state’s foremost business advocacy organization. As a longtime Chamber member and the current Vice Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, Sheela Murthy could not be happier to help.

Funds raised by the Komen Foundation support a global breast cancer research program that has already invested more than $2.2 billion in the search for a cure. There’s no disputing the need for more research, and more funding to fuel it: nearly 300,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2013 alone. The 3-day breast cancer walks also bring in a significant share of the funds needed to provide community support services for breast cancer patients and their families, helping to meet the financial, social, and medical needs of our neighbors.

Ms. Snyder has already raised more than $5,000 in sponsorships for her 3-day walk, which takes place August 1-3 in Cleveland, Ohio. We hope you will share this article with others, and consider making a donation on Kathy’s sponsorship page. Go, Kathy, go!

Copyright © 2013, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.