Mary G. Finlay
Orange County Estate Planning Lawyer
When I was in law school, all my friends and family were so supportive and proud of me. Once I graduated from law school and passed the bar, however, I suddenly became a member of one of the most loathed professions in the world. Everyone clamored to tell me the latest attorney joke. I think I may have heard them all by now.
Once I started practicing, however, I found that the dismal reputation of attorneys actually worked to my advantage. As a probate and trust attorney, I deal with many people who don't know or work with a lot of attorneys. As such, many of them believe the stereotype that attorneys are less than desirable human beings. Numerous clients express pleasant surprise when I treat them respectively, return their phone calls and e-mails promptly, and genuinely treat them with kindness and courtesy.
I feel honored to be an attorney and work every day to dispel the notion that the practice of law is anything less than a noble profession. When I am assisting with a probate, my client has usually just suffered a devastating loss. As a result, my client not only needs sound legal advice but also needs emotional support as well. As a mother of four, I am uniquely qualified to assist my clients through these troubled times. Similarly, when I draft an estate plan, my clients have to feel comfortable enough with me to share very personal information regarding their family and finances. I feel I have a gift in that I can put people at ease so that the estate plan that we draft together ultimately reflects their intentions. In addition, I have the advantage of an advanced tax degree so that I can work with my clients to avoid or minimize unnecessary estate taxes.
I strive to provide exemplary representation to my clients. At the same time, I will be honest with my clients regarding the best course of action FOR THEM. In many situations, it will financially behoove my firm to start or continue a massive battle in court. However, litigating to the end often times is not in the best interest of the client. Litigation is costly emotionally and financially. I will vigorously fight for my clients in court as necessary but at the same time, I will constantly evaluate my client's case to determine the most cost-effective and appropriate course of action that is in my client's best interest.
I am proud to be an alumni of UCLA where I received my bachelor's degree in political science with honors. I enrolled in law school at USC after I graduated but my life took a different turn at that point. I decided to backburner law school and concentrated on raising my children. I went back later to Western State College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude. I think as an older student I was able to appreciate law school more than I would have had I gone straight from undergrad.
After law school, I worked for twelve years at a boutique law firm in Newport Beach doing litigation and then ultimately limiting my practice to probate and trust work. While at that firm, I also wanted to learn more about advanced planning so I enrolled in Chapman Law School in their LLM program. I graduated from Chapman Law School with my taxation degree in 2007.
I am married and have four amazing children. I enjoy playing tennis, cooking, crossword puzzles, hanging out with friends and family and a good bottle of Golden Eye Pinot Noir. I look forward to serving you as my client.