James M. Finberg

(415) 421-7151 ext. 350

B.A., Brown University
J.D., University of Chicago Law School

Hon. Charles Levin, Michigan Supreme Court

Jim’s practice consists primarily of representing employees in class and collective actions involving workplace discrimination and wage/hour violations, and representing voters in voting rights actions. He has also handled constitutional cases involving issues under both the U.S. and California constitutions.

He is currently Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid at Work. He is a fellow of the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and of the American Bar Foundation. He is the author, or co-author, of numerous articles and book chapters on various topics of discrimination and wage/hour law and the use and trial of class and collective actions. From 1992 through 2006, he was a partner at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. In 2005, he served as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco. From 2000 through 2001, he served as Co-Chair of the delegation of lawyer representatives from the Northern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He served as the Co-Chair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area from 1997 to 1998 and 2009 to 2010, and also as a member of the Board of Directors. He also served on the Board of Directors of the National Employment Lawyers Association from 2011-13. From 2010 to 2013, he served on the Board of Visitors of the University of Chicago Law School. He was a member of the Board of the U.C. College of Law Worklife Center from 2011 to 2019. In 2008, he was an adjunct professor of law at the U.C. College of Law at SF, where he taught Employment Discrimination law. He was Executive Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.

Since 2005, Jim has been listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” for labor and employment law, and since 2018 for class action law, as well. He was named The Best Lawyers 2014 Labor and Employment “Lawyer of the Year” in San Francisco. He has been listed as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” since 2004, and was listed as one of the top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California from 2005-13. In 2009, he was named a “California Lawyer of the Year” in the field of Civil Rights by California Lawyer Magazine. In 2023, Benchmark Litigation selected Jim as one of the top 50 Labor & Employment Lawyers in the United States. The Daily Journal has selected Jim as one of the Top 75 Labor & Employment Lawyers in California from 2018 through 2023. The Daily Journal has also selected Jim as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California. Legal 500 lists Jim as a member of its Labor and Employment Lawyers Hall of Fame.

In his spare time, Jim enjoys hiking, tennis, kayaking, travel, and cooking.

Representative matters:

  • Served as lead, or co-lead, counsel for dozens of classes and collective actions, and has obtained a number of significant settlements for the victims of employment discrimination and or wage/hour violations, including:
    • Settlement of gender discrimination and Equal Pay Act class action for $118 million and comprehensive injunctive relief;
    • An $87.5 million settlement, plus comprehensive injunctive relief, in a gender discrimination case;
    • A $55 million settlement, plus comprehensive injunctive relief, in a race discrimination case;
    • A $65 million settlement in an overtime case involving misclassified employees.
  • Served as a co-lead counsel for certified classes in three class action trials, including one that resulted in a $52.5 million judgment.