Legal Services NYC Announces Interim Executive Director


The Board of Legal Services NYC is pleased to announce that Michael D. Young has accepted the position of Interim Executive Director for the organization.   

Mr. Young will guide Legal Services NYC as it continues its mission of providing free, high quality legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers.

With Mr. Young in place, the Board of Directors will focus its efforts on a comprehensive, nationwide search for a new permanent Executive Director. Mr. Young will not seek the permanent position.

“We are enormously pleased that Michael has agreed to serve as Interim Executive Director.  His extensive management and legal experience, combined with his understanding of the work of Legal Services through his early years as a legal services attorney and later service as a board member of one of our Constituent Corporations, make Michael the ideal person to lead Legal Services NYC as we begin the process of selecting a permanent Director,” said Legal Services NYC Board Chair Mark G. Cunha.

Mr. Young, a 1978 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, brings a rich mixture of management, board and legal experience to the position.  From 1978 to 1981 he was trained as a legal services attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.  Between 1989 and 1999 he held senior management positions with JAMS, the largest private alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider in the world, and with one of its predecessor firms, including:  Acting Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice-President, Vice-President of Professional Services, and General Counsel. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of JAMS from 1999–2009, and during that period of time was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board and also chaired the Board’s Committee on Public Policy and Professional Standards.  

Prior to joining JAMS, Mr. Young served in the Law Department of the City of New York, first as Deputy Chief of the Affirmative Litigation Division and thereafter as Senior Litigator and Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services.  Since 1989 Mr. Young has been a full-time mediator and arbitrator, recognized by Law Dragon Magazine as “One of the Top Neutrals/Private Judges in the U.S.” and by other media as a “Best Lawyer” and “Super Lawyer” in the ADR Specialty.  He has also been elected as a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and as a member of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers.  

Mr. Young currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of South Brooklyn Legal Services, a Constituent Corporation of Legal Services NYC.

Said Mr. Young of his selection as Interim Director for Legal Services NYC, "I am honored by the offer to serve as Interim Executive Director, and am very excited by the opportunity to work with so many committed people in delivering necessary legal services to the under-served population of our city. I am also, like they are, committed to making Legal Services NYC the best civil legal services program in the nation." 

Mr. Young will begin his term as Interim Executive Director in June.

Legal Services NYC is the largest organization in the United States devoted to providing free civil legal services to low income people, with neighborhood offices in every borough of New York City.  It provides free help on cases involving housing, family issues, domestic violence, public benefits, income tax, employment, education, consumer rights and economic development.

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