Julie Lathia, Owner, BenLath Law Group, LLC
Family Focus Media is proud to recognize Julie Lathia with a Women of Influence award.
Joel BeneckeBusiness partner
Growing up, Julie always knew she wanted to have a business of her own. Her parents are immigrants from India who have owned and operated several successful businesses since 1972. She saw first-hand how business ownership has the power to transform lives. After graduating law school and working as an associate at several firms, she took a leap of faith in August 2012 to open her own law firm. Eleven years later she co-owns BenLath Law with her husband, working with individuals who are establishing or expanding their own small to mid-size businesses — essentially helping others transform their lives as business owners.
Hard Work and Giving Back
Julie’s parents exemplified a strong work ethic that has served as the foundation for her own professional success. Her mother could barely speak English and hadn’t even completed the 11th grade when she came to this country. Yet through hard work, diligence, and the patience to ride out the highs and lows of business ownership, her mother eventually went on to manage a team of 8+ staff members. Growing up with her parents’ experience as her model, she knew what it took to run a successful business.
One of the ways she gives back to the community is by providing legal help for underserved populations within the non-profit sector.
“I provide pro bono legal work to non-profit organizations that focus on mental health advocacy and that also operate in the LGBTQ+ community,” says Julie. “Since 2012, I have also provided free legal services to all of my husband’s clients who are accused of committing a crime, including an individual who was falsely accused of rape and imprisoned for over 18 months as a result, before his case was dismissed.”
Point of Pride
Julie had to overcome adversity early in her career. While working at a small law firm in Philadelphia that represented employees who had suffered discrimination, including racial discrimination and sexual harassment, she herself was sexually harassed by her own boss. Despite telling him to stop, he continued harassing her and after the 4th incident, she quit the firm. With no job prospects and less than one year of experience practicing law, she found herself in a tough spot. Yet she persevered and found her way forward to a greater opportunity.
“The job market for lawyers during that time was terrible and I was competing against candidates twice my age for the same position. I didn’t qualify for unemployment because I didn’t have enough work experience. I struggled financially and did whatever I could to make ends meet, including hostessing and tutoring. It was an exceptionally difficult time, especially for my self-esteem! Still, I didn’t give up and three years later, I started my own law business, which just celebrated 11 years of success!”