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Amber Finch got married while she was still a student at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, “so I’ve been doing a work/life balance since day one,” she said, adding that the eldest of her four children has just graduated from college.
“Through the course of my professional career, I’ve tried to be a living example to my children of what a success story could look like with a little hard work, a little luck and, frankly, creating a professional network,” said Ms. Finch, who has been at Reed Smith for 12 years.
Ms. Finch, who was her high school valedictorian and is a Stanford University graduate, remembers thinking “What am I going to do?” when her previous law firm went under during the last recession.
Coming to Reed Smith was “the best decision I have made professionally,” she said. Not only was it a place where she could grow and thrive, it put her in the right position to focus on her insurance practice.
Ms. Finch said she is one of the relatively few Black woman attorneys and one of the rare few to head a law firm office.
She has made a point of mentoring law school students as well as young lawyers. “I try to debunk the idea that we have to choose between family and professional success,” said Ms. Finch, who has also been active doing pro bono work during her career.
Eniola Akinrinade, senior counsel labor and employment at Genesys Cloud Services Inc., is a former mentee of Ms. Finch at Reed Smith. Ms. Finch now serves as her company’s counsel and remains a friend.
“She always goes out of her way to understand what I’m asking and get a response,” Ms. Akinrinade said. “Amber is one of the few people in this world who is just a genuine, good human being,” she said.
Ms. Finch said it is “anyone’s guess” where she will be 10 years from now. “I am not done yet,” she said. “I feel like I’m just scratching the surface.”