Attorney Spotlight: Catherine Norton

April 3, 2019
Attorney Spotlight

Tell us about your practice.

As a new associate in the Employee Benefits Practice Group, my practice is fairly broad. I focus on qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, including pension plans, deferred compensation, and ESOPs. I also work with health and welfare benefit plans, as well as provide support on employee benefits and compensation issues arising in M&A transactions.

What is an interesting trend happening right now related to your field of practice?

As more millennials enter the workforce, employers are noticing that this new generation of employees is less interested in contributing to their 401(k), and more concerned with paying down high student loan balances. Some employers are now looking to offer student loan repayment benefits, where, for example, the company will contribute 5% of employees’ pay to their 401(k) as long as the employee pays at least 2% of his/her salary toward student loan debt.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?

My undergraduate degree is in accounting, but I didn’t see myself taking the CPA route. I knew I wanted a career that was intellectually stimulating but also involved interpersonal relationships. I was always more drawn to transactional work, rather than litigation, but I was not entirely sure what specific area of law I wanted to pursue. Thankfully, employee benefits law is the perfect blend of the analytical and emotional — we’re dealing with incredibly complex regulations in the context of something so personal.