Phone: 216.736.7205 Fax: 216.621.6536 Connect: LinkedIn


With a specialty in employment law and creditor’s rights, Melissa serves a diverse base of clients that includes individual employees, bankruptcy trustees and employers of all sizes. Her work includes separation, non-compete and other employment agreements, discrimination cases, bankruptcy, receiverships and more.

Melissa is particularly valued by her clients for her in-depth knowledge of local, state and federal rules and regulations. She has advised companies on maintaining compliance with rules as wide-ranging as telemarketing law, the Affordable Care Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and intellectual property law.

With a research interest in the legal challenges facing the LGBTQ community and with published work on the topic of marriage equality, Melissa also works within KJK’s domestic relations practice to represent LGBTQ clients on issues of relationship recognition, separation and parental rights.

Outside of her work at KJK, Melissa is a committed civic leader and fifth-generation Northeast Ohioan who currently serves as councilwoman and vice mayor for the City of Cleveland Heights. She was the youngest person ever elected to that body in 2013, and in 2017 won re-election as the top vote-getter with 7,000 votes. She also serves in board and committee positions in the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus and the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. Melissa has also become a vocal advocate and mentor for other young women to encourage them to pursue political office.

Melissa is a world traveler who has visited countries across five continents, including backpacking across South America for four months and spending one year in the Republic of Korea as the recipient of a Fulbright Grant. She was profiled as one of Cleveland Magazine’s “Most Interesting People” in its January 2018 issue.

“In my travels around the world, I often have new experiences and have to solve new problems. I am a person who is not afraid to step out of my comfort zone and solve challenges I’ve never seen before. There’s always more than one way to look at a problem.” – Melissa A. Yasinow


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 2011, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2011
  • Mount Holyoke College, B.A., magna cum laude, 2006

Civic Involvement

  • Anti-Defamation League
    • Former Board Member
    • Former Civil Rights Committee Member, Ohio-Kentucky-Allegheny Region
  • City of Cleveland Heights, Councilwoman, elected Nov. 2013, re-elected Nov. 2017
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2018

Professional Affiliations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Bar/Court Admissions

  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio


  • “Most Interesting People,” Cleveland Magazine, Jan. 2018
  • “12 Under 36: Members of the Tribe,” Cleveland Jewish News, 2018
  • Wuliger Family AIPAC Policy Conference Scholarship Award, 2013
  • “Your Day in Court” Presentation in Chambers, U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, 2012
  • Patricia Ann Burgess Public Law Award, 2011
  • Amy J. Zoslov Memorial Scholarship, 2009
  • Fulbright Grant, Republic of Korea, 2006-07

Presentations & Publications

Representative Experience

“Melissa consistently provides top-quality work for my legal needs. Her understanding of receivership issues and often the interplay with municipal governments proves key when called upon.”

 — Zachary Burkons, Receiver

  • Advised employers of their obligations under the Affordable Care Act, including the Act’s health benefits requirements for unionized employees
  • Represented a large residential property owner of more than 100 tenants in negotiations with an Ohio municipality concerning issues of public health and safety
  • Conducted and maintained a 50-state survey to ensure client compliance with federal and state laws concerning prize promotions, catalog sales and telemarketing
  • Represented trustees during bankruptcy proceedings, including a $116,767.65 summary judgment for the benefit of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee
  • Assisted creditor client in collecting a several-hundred-thousand-dollar judgment
  • Helped healthcare employers understand their obligations in maintaining and timely providing patient medical records