Isabel Finley is a Litigation Fellow in the San Francisco office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College in 2015, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2019.
“I know firsthand how important it is to have effective plaintiffs’ side attorneys committed to providing victims with validation and compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. By taking on institutions like BigLaw and fraternities, Sanford Heisler has proven a unique commitment to this justice, no matter how powerful the adversary."
Our commitment to securing justice and providing the best representation possible is reflected in a commitment to diversity within our own firm. At Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, we know better than to think the best attorneys look alike, sound alike, think alike, or live alike. What matters is talent, and we hire the best talent available.
As a result, our team more accurately mirrors America. Women, minority, and/or openly gay lawyers make up the majority of our staff. A passion for social justice unites our team - we all work to use the power of law to help create and enforce a more just society.
While in law school, Isabel was elected President of the Harvard Women’s Law Association (WLA), the largest student organization on campus. She also served as a Student Attorney with the Prison Legal Assistance Project and the Child Advocacy Clinic, and won the award for Best Brief at the UCLA Williams Institute moot court competition in 2017. Prior to joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, Isabel worked as a judicial intern for the Hon. Paul A. Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York, and as a Summer Associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell.
As President of the WLA, Isabel established the WLA’s first resource page for survivors of sexual assault, which includes attorneys who represent survivors on a contingency fee basis. While Harvard Law had previously only provided a list of defense attorneys to students implicated in assaults, Isabel further secured the Dean of Students’ Office’s agreement to begin referring all who report sexual harassment and assault to the WLA’s list of resources and attorneys.
Additionally, in recognition of the highly detrimental effect of mandatory arbitration provisions on the careers of women and minorities, Isabel chose to end law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s longstanding $25,000 annual sponsorship of the WLA unless the firm agreed to drop mandatory arbitration provisions from all employee contracts. Just one week after advising the firm of the WLA’s position in November 2018, Kirkland announced they were dropping such provisions for all associates. Upon further pressure from the WLA and other students, Kirkland additionally dropped the provisions for all non-attorney staff. However, the practice remains unclear for Kirkland’s and many other BigLaw firms’ partners, a topic on which Isabel has spoken publicly.
In 2018, after over two years working alongside her attorneys in negotiations against Massachusetts prep school Deerfield Academy, Isabel successfully reached a six-figure settlement in her own sexual abuse case against the school.
- J.D., Harvard Law School, 2019
- B.A., Barnard College, 2015
- Child Advocacy Clinic
- Prison Legal Assistance Project
- Pending admission in California.