Karlos Fitzgerald Finley is descended from individuals who dedicated their lives to the service of our community. His grandfather arrived in Mobile in 1916 as a young doctor who had recently graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. James A. Franklin (Franklin Primary Health Center, Inc.) served the citizens of Mobile’s medical needs for 53 years.
Karlos’s parents Mr. James H. Finley and Mrs. Joycelyn Franklin-Finley started out as educators. Mr. Finley went on to become a pharmacist and opened the first African American chain of drug stores (Finley’s Drug Stores) in the State of Alabama.
Mrs. Finley remained a teacher and taught in the Mobile County Public School System for more than 25 years. They, along with other progressive thinkers, led the Civil Rights movement of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in Mobile with the goal of bringing about a more unified community. Their efforts helped to send the first African American State Representatives from Mobile County to the State House in Montgomery.
Karlos attended Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic School as a child until his family moved north, to Michigan in the mid 1970’s. He returned home to Mobile in 1982 and Graduated from John L. Leflore High School in 1983. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. He served honorably from 1983 to 1988.
While serving on the USCGC Buttonwood, he received a meritorious commendation for relief efforts during Hurricane Opal and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal while serving aboard the USCGC Westwind. He was honorably discharged and entered the private sector with Chevron USA, Lafayette, LA as an Able Seaman. Karlos again returned home to Mobile in 1989 and began work at Scott Paper Company/Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
During his ten years in the paper industry, Karlos served as a member of the United Way Executive Committee for its annual campaign and helped to coordinate its annual Day of Caring. With a passion for helping children, he participated in the Moorer YMCA’s mentoring program and Corporate Games.
In 1999 Karlos earned his Bachelors Degree in Management, Cum Laude, from the University of Mobile. He then enrolled at Miles Law School in Fairfield, AL. He served as Student Bar Association Vice-President in 2004 and President in 2005, graduating as his class’s Valedictorian.
While in law school, Karlos served as Judicial Law Clerk to Circuit Judge Eugene R. Verin, Tenth Judicial Circuit, Jefferson County, Alabama. He served as a member of the Bessemer Cut-Off Domestic Violence Task Force, the Bessemer Child Advocacy Center and participated in the Kawanis Club’s Elementary Reading Initiative.
Upon Being licensed to practice law in 2006, he began service at the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office where he represented the State of Alabama in the Juvenile and Adult Court Systems, at the District and Circuit Court levels.
In addition to his regular duties as an Assistant District Attorney, he gave the District Attorney’s Office’s weekly Early Warning Truancy address to children attending schools throughout Mobile County and their parents to ensure an understanding of the laws that govern truancy, while underscoring the importance of education. Karlos served as President of the 2008 class of Leadership Mobile and currently serves as President of the Mobile chapter of the Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform, President of the Vernon Z. Crawford Bay Area Bar Association and Parliamentarian for the Alabama Lawyers Association.
He is a member in good standing of the Board of Directors for the Dearborn Street YMCA and 15 Place Homeless Shelter. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar, the American Association for Justice, the Mobile Bar Association, the South Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, and the Paul W. Brock Mobile Inns of Court. Karlos brings his inherited passion for helping others and his strong sense of community into the courtroom, as well as during the claim stage of representation, ensuring that the rights of clients and their families are protected, and that they are treated fairly and with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
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