Helena resident moving on up in law career

Published 2:34 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

Latanishia Watters, Helena resident and president of the Magic City Bar Association, has known she wanted to be a lawyer since she was a little girl growing up in Mobile.

However, at the time, she thought she might want to be a doctor, too.

“For little kids, the doctor and lawyer type things are the things they aspire to be,” she said. “You’re looking at the things you see on TV, and you want to be a professional, something your parents can be proud of.”

Later, however, Watters went through a enrichment program where she actually visited the hospital and experienced what life was like for a doctor.

“I decided that was not for me,” Watters said, laughing. After that, it was full speed ahead towards law school.

She got her undergraduate degree from Millsaps College in Mississippi and then came back to Alabama for business school and law school at Samford University.

“I always tell people to go to law school. Even if you don’t know (what you want to do), just go,” she said.

In addition to her thriving law practice as a partner at the Birmingham-area Haskell Slaughter firm, Watters is involved with various charities as well as being president of the Magic City Bar Association.

“I’m one of those people that has always been involved in a lot of things. I like to be really busy,” she said. “This year, I’m trying to sit down and figure out what my current commitments are and how much time realistically I’m going to be able to devote to those.”

Watters has been in the Magic City Bar Association since she graduated law school, but it wasn’t until 2007 that she felt she had the time she could devote to the presidency.

“Last year, they said, ‘Is this going to be the year?’ And I said, ‘Yes, this is the year,’” she said.

The association, which has 119 members, offers Watters a chance to be with people who support her and understand her life’s journey, she said.

Watters said although she’s unsure what the future holds, she loves the area she’s in and loves the job she does.

“At this point in my life, I feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit,” she said. “My goal is just to continue to get better and better, and continue to be successful in my legal career.”

Although Watters is from Mobile, she said she doesn’t want to return. For her, the Birmingham area is more progressive, and the opportunities are many.

“I feel like we are moving in a forward direction,” she said. “You never know what the future’s going to hold, so I can’t say I’m going to be here the rest of my life. But I’m happy where I am and I’m planning to stay.”