January 16, 2019
Click here to read the interview
Taylor Porter Partner and Diversity Committee Chair Katia Bowman was featured in the Baton Rouge Bar Association E-Newsletter "Member Spotlight," discussing her practice and pursuit of becoming an attorney. Bowman practices in business immigration law and general tort defense litigation.
In her legal practice, in addition to civil and appellate litigation, Bowman is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and advises U.S. employers regarding compliance with the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 process). A native of Haiti, Bowman herself came to the United States on a student visa (F-1). Her transition of status from F-1 to legal permanent resident and, ultimately, naturalized citizen uniquely qualifies her to help U.S. companies and foreign workers and students navigate the complex and often lengthy immigration process. Bowman devotes her career to assisting American companies and foreign workers with their immigration needs. She is a registered Haitian Creole Language Court Interpreter for the Louisiana Supreme Court. In 2016, Bowman was named among the “Top Forty Under 40” by the Baton Rouge Business Report for both her professional accolades and community involvement.
Since becoming Taylor Porter Diversity Committee Chair in 2016, Bowman has helped lead and launch several diversity initiatives, including a BUILD (Building Unity, Inclusion, & Legal Diversity) Community Outreach Program; a high school mentoring series on professional enhancement; and the hosting of and participation in a “Dialogue on Race” workshop. For a third consecutive year, Taylor Porter hosted the workshop seminar put on Dialogue on Race Louisiana, bringing together corporate executives to discuss diversity challenges in the workplace and community. These initiatives have helped increase internal and external diversity awareness, and her work has served as a model for inclusion of other Taylor Porter attorneys and staff working to make a difference in the community. Bowman serves as a member of the Diversity Committee of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, and she formerly served on the DRI Planning Committee for the Annual Diversity for Success Seminar and Expo.
In 2019, Bowman will serve as co-chair of the CLE subcommittee for the BRBA Bench Bar Conference
Below is the Q&A interview with the BRBA:
Tell us about your education.
"I attended primary and secondary school at Sainte Rose de Lima, a private all-girl catholic school run by the Sisters of St. Joseph de Clugny in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, my home country. After completing my secondary education in 2001, I came to the United States on an academic scholarship to attend college and law school. I obtained a B.A. in political science from Southern University & A&M College in Baton Rouge in 2005 and a J.D. from the Southern University Law Center in 2008."
Where are you from?
"I was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti."
Where and what type of law do you practice?
"I am a partner at Taylor, Porter, Brooks and Phillips, and practice business immigration law as well as general tort defense."
Why did you want to become an attorney?
"My parents told me at an early age that I had a knack for defending people and being a voice for those who did not speak up on their own behalf. That seed they planted in my young mind so long ago achieved its intended purpose because, from that point forward, being a lawyer was all I could think about. I have been at it for 10 years now and I still enjoy practicing law and the fine people (and excellent lawyers) with whom I get to do it."
If you were not practicing law, what would be your alternate profession?
"I would own an art gallery, marshalling exhibits from artists from across the world."
What is one thing you wish you would have known before you went to law school?
"I wish I had known that being a good lawyer also means being a good salesman and business owner."
Are you involved with the BRBA? If so, how?
"Yes. I recently took on the role of co-chair of the CLE subcommittee for the 2019 Bench Bar Conference."
What motivated you to become involved with the BRBA?
"Our current BRBA President, Amy Lambert, is my law partner. I also consider Amy a mentor and friend. So when she asked me to serve on the BBC planning committee, I had to oblige – if you know Amy, you know she’s pretty convincing! I am happy to help with such an important event of the BRBA."
What are your favorite things about the BRBA’s Bench Bar Conference?
"I enjoy spending time with other Baton Rouge lawyers and judges in such an informal, fun-filled setting. And, of course, being able to fulfill the yearly CLE requirement in a single weekend is a plus. The BRBA always plans engaging CLEs for the BBC attendees. But this year, we are working on lining up topics and speakers that will keep the participants on the edge of their seats!"
Are you involved with any other organizations or causes?
"As Diversity Committee Chair for my firm, I’ve had the pleasure of leading a number of community service projects involving local schools (such as the Mentorship Academy, and Cristo Rey) and charitable organizations (Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, and the Food Bank). Through my efforts, my firm has also supported Dialogue on Race, having hosted 3 six-week series of roundtable discussions at our office. I also serve as President of the Board of Directors for IDEA Public Schools, Louisiana."
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
"You cannot expect different results if you continue doing the same things."
What are your leisure activities?
"In no particular order, I love live shows, theater or concerts; traveling, particularly in the Caribbean; listening and dancing to good music; spending time with my family."
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
"English is my third language. My maternal tongue is French."