Karlos F. Finley, Esq.

Karlos Finley is the Executive Director of the Africatown Redevelopment Corporation (ARC). He participated in the active practice of law for over 20 years prior to accepting the position with ARC. His family’s roots in the city of Mobile date back to the 1860’s. His great-grandmother relocated to Mobile from neighboring Clarke County. His grandfather, Dr. James A. Franklin, Sr. (Franklin Primary Health Center, Inc.), was a member of the 1914 graduating class of The University of Michigan Medical School. He began his medical practice in Mobile in 1919 serving the Africatown Community. His parents were both educators. His mother, a history teacher and graduate of Clark, Atlanta University. His father an assistant principal who started his collegiate career at The Mobile Branch of Alabama State Teachers’ College (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 the city’s citizens. Their efforts helped to send the first African American State Representatives from Mobile County to the Alabama State House in 1974. Mr. 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 career at Bishop State Community College, Mr. Finley earned his Bachelor 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 served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office several years, then went into the private practice of law with the firm of K. Fitzgerald Finley, P.C. In 2015, Mr. Finley was invested by the Mobile City Council as a Municipal Court Judge and served honorably until 2022. He is past Vice-President of the Alabama Lawyers Association, past President of the Vernon Crawford, Bay Area Bar Association and the Paul W. Brock, American Inn of Court. He is a member of the Mobile and Alabama State Bar Associations, and serves on the State Bar’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. He serves as Vice-President of the Mobile Bar Foundation and is an Alabama State Bar Foundation Fellow. He 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, Inc. (FAAHT) and Heart of Mary School Board of Directors. He served three consecutive years as Chair 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 YMCA (Heritage Y), Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Bishop State Community College Foundation, 15 Place Homeless Services Center, Housing First and Mobile United (Diversity and Inclusion Committee). Finley is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and serves as Tribal Judge of the MOWA band of the Choctaw Indians. He is married to Mrs. Kelly A. Finley and they have three wonderful children.