Online Services: Pro Bono Offerings from the Murthy Law Firm

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The year is 1994. There is no World Series because major league baseball players are on strike. O.J. Simpson is arrested for murder. Forrest Gump delights movie audiences. And the Murthy Law Firm opens its doors for business and launches

For a knowledge-based entity such as a law firm, providing legal information online for free seemed counterintuitive. How could a new firm survive financially if it was giving information away?

But the Murthy Law Firm (known then as the Law Office of Sheela Murthy) took a chance and designed MurthyDotCom as a way to explain U.S. immigration law and communicate directly with a growing core demographic of skilled, talented tech workers who wished to make their dreams come true by immigrating to the United States. Some came as students, were hired for work, then sponsored for their green cards, and ultimately became citizens. They trusted the information they found on our website, and entrusted us to help file their cases. Now, more than 20 years later, MurthyDotCom is consistently ranked as a top-viewed legal website in the world, and is regarded by the legal industry as an unparalleled resource for anyone trying to navigate the complex and ever-changing world of immigration law.

Part of what makes MurthyDotCom such a groundbreaking concept, even two decades later, is the sheer variety of free online services that are offered to the general public, not just to clients of the firm. Pro bono is defined as professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, and that is also the definition of the firm’s online services. Our weekly news bulletin, sent directly to a subscriber’s inbox, has been a mainstay since the site’s inception, and provides accurate and timely updates on immigration law and related news. An interactive forum, which was launched years before most law firms began using the technology, allows anyone with an immigration-related question to post it online and receive answers by an attorney or others in the forum. MurthyDotCom also hosts a regularly scheduled chat session, where senior Murthy Law Firm attorneys clarify the law for participants in real time.

As 21st century technology continues to advance, MurthyDotCom is harnessing new software developments to provide a rich, comprehensive online experience for the immigration community. Our teleconference series allows employers to listen in on discussions led by senior attorneys covering immigration and compliance in the workplace. These teleconferences are periodically uploaded to iTunes to so that all interested stakeholders may listen. Our blog is updated each week and offers a more reflective, conversational side to the Murthy Law Firm. And the MurthyApp allows users to access to everything MurthyDotCom has to offer from the convenience of a smartphone.

As technology changes, the Murthy Law Firm and MurthyDotCom will continue to evolve and innovate the way information, resources, and answers reach members of the immigration community worldwide. But the core mission of our website will always remain the same: to be a platform to offer guidance for all who are struggling to navigate the often-daunting world of U.S. immigration law, whether they are clients of the Murthy Law Firm or not.


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