Spotlight on . . . LaToya Bellamy
March 1, 2022
LaToya Winfield Bellamy joined Eckert Seamans’ Harrisburg office in 2007, and over the years has served on the firm’s Associates Committee, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and currently serves on the firm’s DEI Committee and as Chair of the Circle Mentoring Committee. She grew up in the City of Harrisburg and still calls the area home. LaToya and her husband Shannon have been married for 10 years. “My marriage to Shannon came with the added gift of a shy, smart, and athletic little boy who is now a 19-year-old college student,” she said. Their family welcomed a “sweet and now sassy” little girl in 2016. Both children “light up my life,” she said. She also has a large extended family – with more than 15 first cousins.
LaToya provides business counseling, real estate, and administrative law related services. She has a wide range of experience in serving the firm’s clients, including various businesses, contractors, educational institutions, gaming industry entities, and municipal governments. She provides guidance to the firm’s clients on contracting, government regulatory issues, and real estate matters, including commercial leasing.
What led you to pursue a career in law?
My introduction to law was through a mock trial competition in junior high. The activity was something very different from anything we had done; it was fun and my team won! Several years later I was given the opportunity to intern at a local law firm the summer before my freshman year in college. I liked it so much that I went back summer after summer, holiday breaks, and interned at a firm in Philadelphia while in college. Both firms had significant practices focused on mortgage foreclosure and bankruptcy. I am grateful for those opportunities and will always remember those experiences.
What do you enjoy most about your practice?
My practice changes a lot, so there’s zero chance of getting bored.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Teachers were one of my biggest influences growing up, so naturally I liked to play school. I knew teachers from school, church Sunday school, and in my family, and wanted to be influential like them.
What is a song that instantly puts you in a good mood?
It’s impossible to choose one song. Music was such an important part of my childhood because it encouraged me to dream beyond what was around me. For a good period of my childhood I lived in subsidized housing with my single mother, who still to this day does not have a driver’s license. Back then, we walked everywhere or used public transportation. It sounds like this response is headed in the direction of “I walked a mile to school every day.” I’m not that old! LOL! Back to my response – we had an extremely high window ledge in our apartment and placed the radio up there for the best reception. On a good day we could clearly get a station from Baltimore, Maryland, that played music you would never hear on any local station. Good times.
What is the last thing you binge-watched on TV?
The last show I binge-watched was Beat Bobby Flay – Celebrity Edition. I love the Food Network. It’s one of few channels in my line-up that plays shows all night. I recently visited Food Network Celebrity Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s restaurant Butter NYC and saw her at the Pennsylvania Farm Show 2018. My little one loves to play cook in her kitchen and help me find ingredients in the real kitchen. I also keep a list of restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to visit when I’m traveling.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by other lawyer-moms to keep working at the law and at being a mom. Several of my colleagues at Eckert Seamans come to mind. They are like magicians when it comes to lawyering and mom-ing! Thanks for all that you do!
In view of Women’s History Month, who is a woman you admire and why?
A woman I admire is Hettie Simmons Love, the first African-American student to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Mrs. Love, originally from Florida, graduated with a degree in mathematics from Fisk University, an HBCU in Nashville, in the early 1940s and then went on to attend Penn for graduate school. When she graduated from Penn in 1947, she had no idea that she was the first African-American graduate of the business school. She went on to work in finance and accomplish many other goals. Mrs. Love has been actively performing service projects in the Harrisburg community for decades including as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for 80 years. At 99 years old, she still volunteers, regularly attends meetings and sets a great example of valuing education, hard work and love for community. There’s a children’s book, Hettie Simmons Love – Penn Pioneer, that discusses her journey from a school for all girls in the south to business school, marriage and children. Pretty cool.