Kudos: Area attorney honored among 'Women in the Law'

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Fraser Trebilcock attorney Beth Latchana found her career niche in the transactional health and welfare employee benefits field, just a few years into her legal career at the firm. “With the incredible training and assistance of my predecessor and others, I was able to learn, grow, and expand Fraser’s health and welfare employee benefits practice area, sevenfold, and am sincerely honored to have received some accolades along the way,” she says.

Selected in 2015 as “Lawyer of the Year” for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law in Lansing by Best Lawyers, the Genesee County native has achieved an AV Preeminent peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and continues to be selected by Leading Lawyers and Best Lawyers.

Her most recent accolade is selection as one of the Top 30 “Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, and she will be among those honored at a Sept. 7 luncheon in Troy.

When the graduate of Alma College and University of Notre Dame Law School first joined Fraser Trebilcock as an associate, she set a number of goals, from hitting certain billable hour thresholds, to attaining shareholder status, to growing a client base and expanding her practice, to serving on the Board of Directors, all while volunteering in the community and raising a family.

“Nearly 19 years later, I’m happily still a member of the Fraser Trebilcock family, and I’m pleased to say I’ve met each one of my goals,” she says. “I’m proud of my longevity at this great law firm and happy to be of service to it.”

A vice president on Fraser Trebilcock’s Board of Directors, co-chair of the Employee Benefits practice, and an employee benefits coordinator, Latchana became a leading advisor to employers following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

She recalls a tip from a senior associate in the early years: make the boss' job easier. “It led me to focus on working as a team, not just completing a legally correct and hopefully impressively shiny project, but going the extra mile to reach beyond the assignment to simplify the shareholder's own work,” she says.

“I’ve taken that advice to heart to this day, now with my own clients, helping navigate them through legal hoops and finding creative solutions while ensuring this is done in a way to allow them to focus on what's most important to them, their own business. I’m able to use creative thought to develop solutions while ensuring clients are complying with the plethora of legal mandates thrown at them in the ever-evolving world of employee benefits.”

According to Latchana, she was drawn to the law because the legal industry focuses on serving others. “Giving of oneself to the assistance and hopefully betterment of others is what life is all about,” she says  “As lawyers, we’re held to incredibly high ethical and professional standards, as well as displaying an excellent work ethic.  We’ve been trained this way, and it’s ingrained in our very being. It’s almost impossible for these standards not to trickle over in one’s personal life and activities, and in all ways we serve.” 

Latchana’s practice has enabled her to balance professional life with things she enjoys outside of work. The mother of three serves as a role model for youth and assists her community through activities that include participating in alumni career fairs, coaching and managing youth in various recreational sports leagues, assisting with creating a community dog park, organizing and collecting donations for local shelters, or serving in leadership capacities of local non-profit organizations, most recently the Board of Directors for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. 

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