Robert Young Jr.

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Served from 1998 through 2017
Chief Justice: 2011 to 2016


Robert P. Young Jr. was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. He received a bachelor’s degree and was graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1974, and he earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1977.

Young practiced law for 15 years with the law firm of Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman. In 1992, he was named vice president, corporate secretary, and general counsel of AAA Michigan. He served as a member of the Michigan Civil Service Commission from 1992 until 1995 and of the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees from 1988 until 1995.

Young’s judicial career began in 1995 when he was appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals, 1st District, by Governor John Engler. In 1996, Young was elected to that court and served until his appointment to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1999. Governor Engler appointed Young to fill a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court vacated by Chief Justice Conrad L. Mallett, Jr. Young’s term began on January 3, 1999, and in the year 2000 he was elected to the remainder of that term, which expired on January 1, 2003. In 2002 and 2010 he was re-elected to eight-year terms.

Young is a member of several local and national bar associations, including the State Bar of Michigan, the Wolverine Bar Association, and the National Bar Association. In addition, he is a member of the Association of Black Judges of Michigan. He serves his community in many ways, often focusing on causes related to children. He was a trustee of the Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce Leadership Detroit Program and the Comprehensive Youth Training and Community Involvement Program and was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Children’s Justice Concerning Child Abuse and Neglect. He served as a trustee for the Grosse Pointe Academy and the Detroit Institute for Children. In addition he is a trustee of Plymouth United Church of Christ, Director of Vista Maria, and a member of the United Way Community Services Community Leaders Council. Young has had his work published in Michigan Civil Procedure and The Detroiter.

Portrait presented on: (Click link to read transcript)
November 28, 2018

Portrait Artist:
Burnett, Patricia Hill

Oil on canvas

30″ x 40″

Owned by:
State of Michigan

Current location:
Hall of Justice – 1st Floor:
Conference Center

Portrait photo by:
David Trumpie