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Ghayyad finds niche in immigration, family law

Maryam Ghayyad - Murphy Desmond

Maryam Ghayyad – Murphy Desmond

Maryam Ghayyad is building her own sort of practice.

The Spanish-speaking attorney at Murphy Desmond practices immigration law as well as family law. When Ghayyad started seeing opportunities to help her immigration clients with family matters, she decided to broaden her practice.

“It helps me serve more clients more efficiently,” she said. “That’s unique about me. I want to be able to continue to do both.”

Ghayyad says she loves practicing immigration law because it gives her an opportunity to get to know her clients and help them in what are no doubt some of the most difficult times in their lives.

“It’s a high-stakes area of practice, obviously, because clients are risking removal,” Ghayyad said. “But at the same time, there’s really great rewards because you’re able to change a person’s life for the better. Family law is similar.”

Although satisfying, the work, particularly immigration law, is by no means easy.

“There are so many changes and it’s a challenge to remain hopeful in an environment where it seems the current administration is not supportive of the immigrants who need the protection of the United States,” she said. “I am going to continue to fight every day for our clients.”

Ginger Zimmerman, also of Murphy Desmond, said she is blown away by the work Ghayyad has been doing and finds her refreshing.

“She’s one of most energetic and enthusiastic associates and a very committed lawyer — committed to her clients and her area of practice — but has also been developing a capability in family law in order to serve the Latino community,” said Zimmerman.

Ghayyad says she finds Zimmerman to be a source of inspiration.

“She is one of the few firm presidents in this area who is a woman, and as a young attorney seeing her success and things she’s done as an attorney and her excellence — I just am inspired by her,” Ghayyad said.

Ghayyad is also inspired by her mentor at the firm, Glorily Lopez, for whom Ghayyad had worked even before starting her own legal career.

Lopez hired Ghayyad, who had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a journalism degree and a 4.0 GPA, to be her legal assistant back when Lopez had her own small practice. They’ve known each other for at least a decade.

Ghayyad was a clerk for Lopez throughout law school, and Lopez took Ghayyad with her as an associate when she moved to Murphy Desmond.

“She’s an invaluable resource and asset to our practice,” Lopez said. “I know her not only professionally but also personally. She’s just a delight to work with.”

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