Angela Reddock, managing partner of the law firm Reddock, Wells & Griggs was recently honored as one of the Daily Journal’s “Top Labor and Employment Lawyers for 2010.”

Reddock was one of 60 California lawyers recognized by the legal newspaper based on her efforts on behalf of the Los Angeles Urban League and other business clients. With the Urban League, Reddock revised its human resource practices, established a management training program on litigation-prevention workplace practices, developed safety and risk management procedures, created an employee health and wellness initiative, and incorporated an extensive professional development agenda for employees.

Earlier this year, Reddock was profiled in the American Bar Association’s “The Woman Advocate,” a book celebrating the achievements of women lawyers. The book describes Reddock as a “mover, shaker, and rainmaker.” In its chapter entitled “Succeeding as a Woman of Color,” the publication noted, “In her current practice, Angela has successfully defended corporations and executives in high-stakes litigation involving labor and employment matters. While this type of litigation traditionally has been reserved for larger law firms, Angela has proven she has the expertise and experience to handle such matters.”

The ability to deal with stressful situations and changing environments was cultivated very early in Reddock’s life. An only child born in Birmingham, Ala., the future lawyer was brought to start a new life with her mother in California in the late 1970s.

Living in Compton, nine-year-old Reddock experienced a peaceful co-existence with her new friends and neighbors yet saw the contrasts between the her birthplace and her new home.

“California seemed like Dreamland, because I had visited here before,” she said. “I had an aunt and uncle who lived here in L.A. So it was like, wow. We have Disneyland, Marineland, Knotts Berry Farm. There was always sunshine and trees, and it was a beautiful place.

“Birmingham was a place, where everybody knew each other. All the families had lived in the same neighborhood together for years. You sat on the porch, and played in the street. It was a very different life and place and made for forming a strong foundation.”

Reddock enjoyed her Compton upbringing. “In my opinion, Compton certainly is not what the media portrays it to be,” Reddock said. “Even now, there are working-class people (who) have families. People who want the best lives for their children, and that was my experience growing up in Compton.”

Her childhood in Compton took a dramatic twist, when she was awarded an academic scholarship to continue her high school education in Brentwood. “That was definitely a culture shock,” she revealed. “It was a very exclusive private school; predominantly White. I was one of the few Blacks in my class, and in the whole school. However, my experience was very positive. The greatest challenge in Brentwood was not social, but academic.”

She was mentored during this time by an English teacher, a Black man from the East Coast named Ed McCatty, who encouraged her to apply to Amherst College in Massachusetts.

At Amherst, Reddock majored in English. She was advised by her counselors at the liberal arts college that as an English major she would be able to improve her writing and analytical skills and enhance her ability to transition into the legal field. After graduation, Reddock moved back to Los Angeles, where she won admission to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School.

“And from that point to now, some 15-16 years later,” she says, “I have been working as an employment lawyer (on) the defense side.”