Michele Young, one of The Enquirer’s 2020 Women of the Year, is “the kind of woman who stands behind other people, propping them up and pushing them forward,” the Enquirer said. “She’s an attorney who seems to do more pro bono than paid. She leads anti-bullying and don’t-text-and-drive efforts. She runs political campaigns for free for women and minority candidates. She’s a convener who tries to span the gap between people of different races, religions and ideologies.”
“In our community, Michele can be counted on whenever there is a need,” wrote the nominators in their form nominating Young for the Women of the Year award. “If she cannot solve the problem, she will find someone who can. To her, every life counts, and no problem is too small or too great to undertake. Each day, she tries to open doors and make life a little kinder for others.”
Young was chosen as a Venue Magazine 2019 Women of Influence Honoree for having “helped shape the success of organizations and demonstrating leadership, professional achievement and continuous contributions to the workplace and/or community.” In 2019 she also received recognition as a volunteer for the passage of the Good Food Purchasing Program for the Interfaith Workers’ Center and the teen internship program by Asian Pacific American Public Affairs Association.
Michele reaches across political and demographic lines to developed bipartisan support for public-safety initiatives.
The "don't text and drive" campaign has reached millions on television.
She is a member of the Cincinnati Citizen’s Police Association, a bipartisan non-profit supporting our law enforcement community. She is a board member of OJPC and a barrister in the Potter Stewart Inn of Court.
Young works with leaders across faiths and races to make our community welcoming to all.
She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Black Jewish Table of Understanding of the Cincinnati American Jewish Committee. She was part of the team that founded Cincinnati’s Kids4Peace that furthers interfaith and interracial understanding with kids and is a member of the board. She is a member of the Inclusion Committee of Cincinnatus. She is a member of EquaSion which holds the “Cincinnati Festival of Faiths” each year.
Young is devoted to children. She serves on the advisory board of HEAT and held anti-bullying rallies at school with the Bootsy Collins Foundation. She has coached pee-wee soccer and is the oldest member of Kinderelt 50. For 25 years she marched in the Fourth of July Parade as the Statute of Liberty for the local mothers’ group.
Young, a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and McGill University, provides the highest level of legal assistance and advocacy.
She is a former adjunct law professor at two law schools. She served as a law clerk to three federal judges, including the Hon. George Edwards Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Young considers it an honor to redress injustice and to serve the legal needs of individuals who need help. Her lawyering is distinguished by an emphasis on innovativeness, integrity, non-stop hard work, and heart. She takes great pride in solving what appear to be unsolvable legal problems. She provides thoughtful and cutting-edge counsel to all walks of life, from prominent political and human rights leaders to the poor and friendless. She has spearheaded successful political, public interest, civic, and media campaigns, serving as an advocate in whatever capacity is needed.
Young currently is working on a case involving Sherry Chen, a scientist who was wrongly accused of espionage and fired from her job. Another case involves Gabriel Taye, an 8-year-old Cincinnati Public Schools student who killed himself after he was bullied at school.
But it is not just high-profile cases that matter to Young. She believes legal work that makes a difference in a person’s life is worth the effort.
“I tend to look at the person and say, ‘What if it was me?’ And then I say, ‘What will it take to break down the walls so they can get where they want to go?’” she said.
Publications To Improve Our Community
- Michele Young, Local Crime Lab is Safest Bet , Cincinnati Enquirer, June 1, 2014
- Chapter 13: Medical Malpractice Considerations Under PPACA, Healthcare Rulemaking Guide, West, 2011
- James T. O’Reilly and Michele L. Young, New Health Care Law Affects Medical Liabilities and Drives New Plaintiff Options , American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Products Liability, Summer, 2011
- James T. O’Reilly and Michele L. Young, Medical Malpractice: Avoiding Adjudicating & Litigating In The Challenging New Climate, ABA Press, 2014
Working Toward Inclusion For Children And Adults In Our Community
- Advisory Chair, the Ohio Asian American Pacific Islanders Public Affairs Association
- Board Member, Ohio Justice and Policy Center.
- Board Member and Chair and Co-Founder of the Black Jewish Table of Understanding, American Jewish Committee
- Co-Founder and Board Member, Cincinnati Kids4Peace
- Advisory Board Member, HEAT (Holistically Empowering All Teens)
- Inclusion Panel Member, Cincinnatus Association
- Member, EquaSion, a nonpartisan civic organization founded on interfaith dialogue
- Pro-bono Counsel for Q-Kidz’s Marquicia Woods whose West End organization instills values of education, living drug-free and stopping violence for African American teen girls
- Created inclusion and anti-bullying rallies with the Bootsy Collins Foundation and contributed and donated backpacks and school supplies in back-to-school events with the Collins Foundation and the Buzz Cincy, 101.5
- Co-produced inclusion and anti-bullying TV campaign in conjunction with Local 12, Star64, and CW television stations, creating PSAs that reached thousands of local households daily
- Organized team of Young Fellows (college and recent graduate students) to volunteer for the Interfaith Workers’ Center’s successful campaign to bring healthy, locally grown food to Cincinnati Public Schools through the Good Food Purchasing Program
- Created internship opportunities for Asian-American and Pacific Islander high school students
- Supported the Preschool Promise, which provides preschool education for children, by helping bring together 100 women leaders from all walks of life and political persuasions to support its creation
- Co-authored a book published by the American Bar Association showing the differences in the legal treatment of medical malpractice in patients with private insurance compared to those with public insurance. Michele is also a former Advisory Board Member to the Health Care Connection, which inspired the book.
- Brought in the Hon. Jean Schmidt and religious and faith leaders to support the freeing of the wrongfully imprisoned Tyra Patterson. To this day, she serves as one of Tyra’s mentors.
Opening Doors To Women And Minorities
- Co-chaired in 2012 the reelection campaign of the first African American woman to win countywide election as a judge
- Led efforts in 2010 to bring the first Indian Americans into the public sphere, including working for the appointment of a revered Indian doctor as the first Indian Hamilton County Coroner. After the coroner’s death in 2012, she encouraged a female Indian doctor to seek the office. Young worked for the woman’s appointment and ran her successful election campaign. This was at a time when no one thought an Indian woman could win a law enforcement position in the area.
- Recruited the first Hispanic woman, a local civic leader, to be elected judge and successfully gained the support of the judicial committee for her to run
- Ran as the first woman and mother to seek to represent the Ohio First District in the United States House of Representatives. Young won the party nomination and lost the general election but changed the way the district was viewed locally and by the nation. The way she conducted her campaign won the respect of her opponent.
- In 2014 she was selected as the recipient for the Outstanding Achievement Award by Cincinnati’s Women’s Political Caucus.