Michele Young is a 2020 Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year and the 2020 Cincinnati Bar Association‘s Julia A. Stauberg Honoree “in Recognition of an Outstanding Female Counselor for her Exemplary Service and Accomplishments.”
A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, a former adjunct law professor in two law schools, a law clerk to three federal judges, including the Hon. George Edwards, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Sixth Circuit, and an author of articles and co-author of a law book for the American Bar Association. Ms. Young considers it an honor and pleasure to redress each and every injustice and to serve the legal needs of each individual in need of help. Her lawyering is distinguished by an emphasis on innovativeness, integrity, non-stop hard work, and heart. She takes great pride in solving what appears to be, at first blush, an unsolvable legal problem. She has spearheaded successful political, public interest, civic, and media campaigns, serving as an advocate in whatever capacity is needed.
Michele Young is working with an all-star team of legislators and scientists so every Ohio woman will have a chance for early screening of breast cancer through the passage of HB 357.
She is the lawyer who speaks for those who do not have a voice, who have been bullied, forgotten, left behind, or counted out. Her efforts have borne fruit in terms of giving rise to new leaders and giving a voice to those who previously did not have a voice.
“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?'” Michele said.
Ms. Young represents the father and is part of the civil team that brought justice to the family of Gabriel Taye, the 8-year old who committed suicide after being brutally bullied. The case settled for 3 million dollars, requires changes in the way bullying is handled throughout the Cincinnati Public School system and will protect many children’s lives.
Ms. Young champions the cause of Ms. Sherry Chen, an American scientist targeted because of her national origin and color of her skin. The federal civil rights suit that she and co-counsel filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio was cited by the U.S. Senate Wicker Report and a Washington Post article that revealed Ms. Chen was a victim of a “rogue” police force targeting Asian-Americans in Commerce. After this bombshell was revealed, Ms. Young turned to ACLU, and this case is now a pro-bono project of the National ACLU and Cooley LLP because of its importance to our nation.
Michele was part of the pro-bono effort to free the Tyra Patterson on Christmas Day 2018 for a crime she did not commit after 23 years in prison.
Noted for reaching across political, faith, and demographic lines, Michele has developed bi-partisan support of public-safety initiatives. This includes bringing together leaders from all walks of life to support a years long “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign that reached millions, bringing together students and young graduates to robustly support the Interfaith Workers Center’s successful effort to bring healthy food to Cincinnati Public Schools through the adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Program, bringing together civic and law enforcement leaders to support the Hamilton County Coroner’s effort to build the first crime lab in 50 years, and the present effort of bringing together medical and legislative leaders to pass legislation that will save the lives of Ohio women from breast cancer.
Ms. Young’s conviction to social justice goes deeper than her advocacy work; whether it is arranging for a single mother to have a new heater in her home or bringing holiday presents to an underprivileged child, she does what she can. She joins Patricia Collins and the Bootsy Collins Foundation to lift up the lives of local children, most recently at Operation Backpack at the Cincinnati Museum Center, joins AFTA to give out tickets to arts and sports to our veterans, and brings Cincinnatians together to support Asian American Inclusion in our community through APAPA.
Ms. Young received the Outstanding Achievement Award by Cincinnati Women’s Political Caucus for her pioneering work bringing minority women into the political realm, including recruiting and running for free the campaign for the first Asian American woman to be elected countywide and co-chairing the campaign of the first African American judge to be elected countywide.
Ms. Young is presently the Advisory Chair for the Ohio Asian Pacific Islanders American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), a board member of the Ohio Justice Policy Center, and a board member of the Cincinnati American Jewish Committee, who co-founded the Black Jewish Table of Understanding. She is part of the team of Interfaith leaders that founded Kids4Peace, the first summer camp where local Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Kids come together. She is a member of the Cincinnatus Association and the Potter Stewart Inn of Court.
Ms. Young led the “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign for Gregory S. Young Co. LPA, reaching hundreds of thousands of homes weekly, through television, featuring Cincinnati’s icons in partnership with CBS Local 12, CW, and Star 64.
In 2016, Michele was the endorsed Democratic candidate and the first mother to run for Congress for OH-1, her performance gaining the support of respected national leaders from Gloria Steinem to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and winning Hamilton County in early voting.
Michele is of counsel to Gregory S. Young Co., LPA, a law firm entering its sixtieth year, specializing in personal injury law. She has her own law firm focused on social justice and advocacy, Michele Young, Co., LPA.