Phone: 216.736.7205 Fax: 216.621.6536 Connect: LinkedIn


As a valuable asset to KJK’s Student & Athlete Defense team, Melissa is experienced in handling a wide range of matters involving campus misconduct and Title IX investigations. She also advocates for those with mental health issues and Autism, particularly when they face student disciplinary matters. Additionally, Melissa handles student matters involving hazing, bullying and social media. She is valued by her clients for her in-depth knowledge of local, state and federal rules and regulations.

Having served as an elected official, Melissa is well versed in due process issues and brings that experience to bear when representing clients. She is a fifth-generation Northeast Ohioan who previously served as a councilwoman and vice mayor for the city of Cleveland Heights. Melissa 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.

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, Former Councilwoman, Former Vice Mayor
  • 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

“Enough cannot be said for how helpful KJK was for me during my allegation process. Susan, Kristina and Melissa were extremely knowledgeable and passionate toward my specific case. They consistently had steps of action to take in my defense and were extremely flexible when working with me. They helped prepare me, both mentally and emotionally, prior to my hearing. Thanks to their hard work, I now have my future back.”

  • Successfully defended a student at a private college accused of cheating on a physics exam
  • Successfully defended a student against an alleged probation violation at a public university
  • Succeeded in dismissing allegations of sexual misconduct and showing the respondent was lying in an effort to get back with their ex at a small private college
  • Successfully represented a lesbian professor from allegations of sexual impropriety at a large state public university system
  • Successfully resolved sexual misconduct allegations in a case in which both the complainant and respondent had ASD
  • Successfully appealed state determination to deny housing benefits to a physically and mentally disabled woman
  • Drafted comprehensive whitepaper on the challenges neurodivergent students experience when transitioning to college
  • 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