Monday Profile: Sally C. Fink

Sally Fink is an attorney and mediator at Fink Family Law, PLC, in Ann Arbor. She started her legal career at the Public Defender's office more than 30 years ago and went into private practice from there. Though she planned on being a civil rights attorney, family law beckoned, and that has been her main emphasis throughout her career.

She is a court-approved family law mediator, and a collaborative law practitioner working in all aspects of family law, from parenting time, custody issues, adoption, complex property proceedings, as well as guardianships and estate planning.

Fink, who began practicing law when only a handful of local lawyers were female, is a founding member of the Women Lawyer's Association of Michigan--Washtenaw Chapter, and served as its president in its early years. When the legislature passed a law providing injunctive relief for survivors of domestic violence, she drafted the local administrative order enabling its use in this county. The Personal Protection Order is the current iteration of that law.

She is a hearing panelist for the State Bar Attorney Discipline Board, and a member of the State Bar Character and Fitness Committee. She was on the Board of SAFE House (currently SAFE House Center), and served as its president.

Fink was born and raised in Detroit.

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Residence: Ann Arbor.

How does it feel to be the only Fink attorney in town not related to all the others? And do people just assume you are? It certainly distinguishes me, and it makes it possible for me to work with them. Those that know me don't assume that we come from the same clan.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Spending time with my family, including my two three-year-old great nephews.

What is your greatest fear? The impact war and global warming will have on future generations.

What is the trait you hate most in yourself? Obsessing over the details, and at times missing the big picture.

What is the trait you hate most in others? Duplicity.

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it? Turn it into a yoga room.

What was your most memorable meal? At The Bakery, a restaurant in Chicago, many years ago.

If you could take back one thing you did... Speaking intimately on the telephone next to a microphone that I didn't know was "hot." That was very embarrassing!

What is your most treasured material possession? The spirit bear by Benjamin Thomas, an Inuit sculptor.

If you could do one thing professionally... Provide legal services for all in need, without charge.

What are your favorite websites? Google and Facebook. That's how I find out what my niece and nephew are doing.

Your proudest moment(s) as a lawyer? Prevailing before the jury in a sexual harassment suit shortly after the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act was enacted.

It's 7 a.m. Monday. How are you feeling? I wake up early. I'm on my way to the gym, and ready to go.

Introvert or extrovert? Introvert, except when I'm presenting in court.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Modesty.

When and where were you happiest? In college at the University of Michigan. It opened the world for me.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Trust your instincts, and don't be shy.

What one habit do you wish you could break? Being late.

What is something most people don't know about you? I was a Head Start teacher in Harlem before it was called Head Start. Also, I lived in West Africa for a year.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? My mother, Ernie Goodman and Malcolm X.

Favorite recent book: "The Round House" by Louise Erdrich.

Favorite movie: "Whale Rider."

What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do 20 years ago? Travel, and play more.

Where would you like to be when you're 90? Upright and alert in Hawaii.

Published: Mon, Mar 11, 2013

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