Meet Judge Karlos Finley



Judge Karlos Finley's family roots in the city date back to the 1860's when his great-grandmother relocated to Mobile from neighboring Clark County. His grandfather, Dr. James A. Franklin, Sr., MD (Franklin Primary Health Center, Inc.), a member of the 1914 graduating class of The University of Michigan Medical School moved to Mobile and began his medical practice in 1917. On May 5, 2015, Judge Finley was invested by the Mobile City Council as a Municipal Court Judge for the City of Mobile. Judge Finley’s parents were both educators. His mother, a history teacher and graduate of Clark Atlanta University and his father an assistant principal who started his collegiate career at The Mobile Branch of Alabama State Teachers’ College of Montgomery (Now Bishop State Community College). His father continued his education and attained a Degree in Pharmacology from Xavier University of New Orleans. He returned to Mobile and opened the first African American chain of drug stores (Finley’s Drug Stores) in the State of Alabama. His parents, 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 and equality for all of the city’s citizens. Their efforts helped to send the first African American State Representatives from Mobile County to the Alabama State House in 1972.


Judge Finley attended Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic School (est. 1901) as a child until his family moved to Michigan in the mid 1970's. He returned home to Mobile and Graduated from John L. Leflore High School. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. He was decorated with the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal for relief efforts during several Gulf Coast Hurricanes and the Good Conduct Medal, then Honorably discharged. After beginning his collegiate academic career at Bishop State Community College, Judge Finley earned his Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Mobile, Cum Laude and his Juris Doctorate from Miles School of Law in Fairfield, AL, where he was chosen as class valedictorian. He has served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office and is now in Private Practice with the law firm of K. Fitzgerald Finley, P.C., while serving as a City of Mobile Municipal Court Judge. He is a member of the Judicial Council of the Alabama Lawyers Association and a past President of the Vernon Z. Crawford, Bay Area Bar Association. He is a member of the Mobile and Alabama State Bar Associations; and was chosen to participate in and served as President of the 2008 Class of Leadership Mobile and is a member of the 2012 Class of Leadership Alabama. He is the President of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the African-American Heritage Trail, is President of the Paul W. Brock, American Inn of Court and the Vice-President of the Mobile Bar Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Alabama State Bar Foundation. He served three consecutive years as Chairman of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama’s Youth of the Year Award Luncheon. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Dearborn Y, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Bishop State Community College Foundation and is a member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Mobile, Inc., Mobile United (Diversity and Inclusion Committee), The Alabama State Bar‘s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Judge Finley’s home church is Most Pure Heart of Mary. He is married to Mrs. Kelly Finley, they have three wonderful children and five dogs. 


The leadership team of the Finley for Mayor 2021 campaign are a specifically selected group of highly motivated individuals who are passionate about our city. Their backgrounds are intentionally diverse and their experience is vast. Our team is made up of native Mobilians and those who have chosen to make our city, their home. We are excited to introduce this confluence of intelligencia to you and we are immensely proud to have them driving our campaign to victory, August 24, 2021.