Published: April 25, 2012
Attorney Lakshmi Challa has been named the 2012 Henrico County Community Leader of the Year by the Greater Richmond Chamber’s Henrico Business Council.
Challa is the chief executive officer of Challa Law Offices Inc., which has offices in Virginia, North Carolina and India.
The award honors unsung heroes who show unwavering support for Henrico County and the business community, demonstrate dedication to the betterment and growth of the county, and exhibit enthusiasm for and make a significant difference in their community, the chamber said.
Working with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Challa established the Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence Project to assist undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic or sexual violence obtain legal status and lead a life free from the tyranny of their abusers and fear of deportation, the chamber said.
Her creative solution to marshal additional assets by bringing law students from the University of Richmond’s School of Law to assist on a pro bono basis dramatically expanded the project’s effectiveness, the chamber said.
Under her leadership and with the pro bono assistance of a cadre of attorneys and law students, the project has helped more than 50 women remain in the United States, work legally and provide for their families and children, according to the chamber.
Through her outreach, Challa serves as a role model by demonstrating the importance of community service, the chamber said.
Additionally, Challa has provided legal expertise to Commonwealth Catholic Charities, supporting unaccompanied minors brought to the U.S.; has served on the state’s Illegal Immigration Task Force; and was appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Health Systems Board. She serves on numerous organization boards in central Virginia.