Katila Smith Associate

Katila focuses her practice on employee benefits and executive compensation, including advising organizations of all sizes on regulatory and compliance matters including design, implementation, on-going administration, and employee benefits issues arising out of mergers and acquisitions. She also advises corporate, governmental and non-profit employers regarding qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation plans, and health and welfare plans.

Katila received both her undergraduate degree and masters from the University of Michigan. While attending law school at Michigan State University, she completed internships for the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Michigan Tax Tribunal, and the Michigan House of Representatives.

Prior to law school, Katila was an elementary school teacher with Teach for America - Detroit.

"As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.” – Toni Morrison


Advise clients regarding benefit plan compliance, including plan amendments and corrective filings.

Representation of clients on design, administration, and regulatory compliance of a 401(k) plan, welfare plans, and employee benefits aspects of acquisitions.

Representation of clients in interactions with the IRS and DOL relating to benefit plans.

Representation on employee benefits matters in the context of corporate transactions, including conducting due diligence reviews, negotiating terms of the sale and purchase agreements, and advising on post-closing operation or integration of plans. 

  • Michigan State University College of Law, JD, Dean's List, Executive Editor, Journal of Business and Securities Law, 2016
  • University of Michigan, MEd, summa cum laude, 2013
  • University of Michigan, BA, Political Science & Women's Studies, with Honors, magna cum laude, 2011

Member, Michigan State Bar Association

Member, American Bar Association

Member, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago

Member, National Black Lawyers

Member, National Association of Women Lawyers

  • Illinois
  • Michigan

Named to, "Rising Stars," Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2018, 2019

Recipient, "Five Under Ten" Award, University of Michigan Black Alumni Association, 2017

Recipient, State of Michigan Tribute, Michigan House of Representatives, 2016

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