Lakshmi Challa, Managing Attorney
Lakshmi Challa has practiced immigration law exclusively for over twenty years. Her law firm, Challa Law Group, is headquartered in Richmond, VA. She served the Office of the Virginia Attorney General as Special Counsel on immigration matters for nearly a decade under Democratic and Republican administrations. She has also taught immigration compliance for university personnel at the University of Richmond. Ms. Challa obtained her law degree from the University of Richmond in 1995 and earned a B.A. from Andhra University in India in 1988. Ms. Challa has handled all aspects of employment and family-based immigration law and she has extensive experience in organizing and preparing high-volume employment-based petitions and permanent residency applications. She also advises clients on visa processing at the consular level and meets regularly with consular officials. Ms. Challa represents clients in Department of Labor investigations and advises employers on immigration and I-9 compliance. She has spoken on immigration issues by invitation to the Virginia State Bar and colleges and universities as well as advised the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) on Virginia Domicile Guidelines. She was invited to serve on President Obama’s White House Roundtable for Innovation and Immigration and Senator Stole’s Illegal Immigration Task Force. She accompanied both Governor Warner and Governor Kaine’s trade delegation to India, presenting with the Virginia Economic Development Authority on the legal and immigration issues impacting Indian companies when they expand to the U.S. In 2016, she traveled with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA India Roadshow, sharing the stage with Consular Officials in five different Indian cities. In addition to sharing her expertise with groups across the world, Ms. Challa has a strong local presence, educating chambers about new immigration legislation on the federal and state levels. She is often consulted by local media to comment on local immigration issues. On a national level she has worked with some of the largest computer consulting associations in the U.S., including the National Association of Computer Consulting Businesses (NACCB), ITAA (Information Technology Association of America) and TANA Business Section (a national association of Indian-owned businesses in the U.S.). In her capacity as Legislative Marshall for NACCB Lobby Day on Capitol Hill, she has also met directly with congressional representatives on issues relating to immigration law and policy. In addition, she spoke by invitation at the regional conference of the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors on immigration issues significant to college and university communities. She has also been invited to speak at both US and Indian universities (IITs) on immigration options for transfer to the U.S. She is a regular contributor to many monthly publications regarding immigration strategies for the global transfer of employees. Her lectures have been referenced in a number of national and international publications. Ms. Challa was invited to serve as a panelist at the Triangle Business Journal’s 2012 International Global Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was also invited to speak as a panelist for the Connected Women of North Carolina’s Signature Event. She has had excessive positive influence on her local community. She was the 2012 Henrico County Community Leader of the year as well as an honoree of the Influential Women of Virginia, presented by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. She supports women’s issues and emphasizes women’s health. Ms. Challa was an honorary chair for the 2013 Pink Ribbon Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness Tea and Chair for the 2013 Go Red’s “Open Your Heart” Committee’s North Carolina Chapter, and the 2014 chair for Go Red “Open Your Heart” Committee’s Virginia Chapter. She is Vice Chair of the Virginia Commonwealth Health Systems Board of Directors and a Chair of Bollywood Goes Red, an annual event benefitting the American Heart Association. Over the course of 2015, she took part in the Sorenson Political Leaders Institute for civic engagement sponsored by the University of Virginia. In April of 2016, she was selected by the YWCA of Richmond as the 2016 OWA (Outstanding Women Awards) Honoree in Business for her significant accomplishments as a business owner and leader, as well as her selfless commitment to educating organizations on new immigration legislation. Her community connections translate well with the firm’s pro bono efforts. She has partnered with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Catholic Charities and the University of Richmond in developing an immigration clinic that assists victims of domestic violence and unaccompanied minor children with their immigration needs. She also assists religious institutions with immigration sponsorship for their religious workers. In addition to receiving the John C. Kenny Pro Bono Award by the Richmond Bar Association, she was nominated for the 2014 Lewis F. Powell Pro Bono Award by the Virginia State Bar.