Jan. 13, 2020 — Jordan Sanders Latham may not use her legal education to try cases or spend time in a courtroom, but it has led her to a recent promotion at Ernst & Young, the largest professional services firm in the world.
The 2013 alumna of the University of Houston Law Center said her J.D. helps her in her new role as manager in the company's People Advisory Services practice.
"My Law Center education encouraged me to think outside the box, sharpened my attention to detail and analytical skills, and enhanced my self-confidence," Latham said. "Many of my professors shared their practical experiences, which provided me a clear understanding of how certain principles are actually applied in the field."
Latham's responsibilities include assisting and advising businesses with respect to the tax implications of certain compensation and benefits arrangements. She supports clients in understanding and quantifying potential tax and financial exposures in the context of mergers and acquisitions. Latham also works with public and private companies on the design, implementation and operation of their executive compensation philosophies and strategies and the supporting programs, including short-term and long-term incentive programs.
"In my role, I’m constantly learning and I work on something different each day," Latham said. "I’m constantly challenged and enjoy working closely with C-suite executives to help them navigate complex tax issues. No day is the same."
Latham has also exemplified her career versatility as a businesswoman. After surviving breast cancer, she was motivated to start her own business, Soul Sweet Sensations in 2018. A portion of sales are donated to The Pink Lotus Foundation, an organization that provides financial assistance to low-income women in need of breast cancer screening, treatment and support, among other organizations.
"Soul Sweet Sensations was born out of my love for cooking and baking to make myself and others feel comforted," she said. "During my battle with breast cancer, I spent a lot of time cooking and baking for my family because it comforted us all. I decided to turn my hobby into a small business out of my home kitchen so that I could give back to the breast cancer community."
Despite the rigors of being a practicing or non-practicing legal professional, Latham said it is important to not lose sight of one's interests outside of work.
"Passion is important for inspiration, enthusiasm, and drive," Latham said. "Passion creates change, starts movements and improves the world. In my view, the people that are most successful are passionate about something, and it’s not always their job or career. But to be good at anything you do, you have to be full in your spirit, not just sharp in your mind. You cannot pour from an empty cup — passion keeps your cup full."