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 include individual employees, bankruptcy trustees, and employers of all sizes. Her expertise 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 for the City of Cleveland Heights, while also serving in board and committee positions in the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus and the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. Melissa has also be-come 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 Re-public of Korea as the recipient of a Fulbright Grant.

“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

  • Councilwoman, City of Cleveland Heights, elected Nov. 2013
    • Municipal Services Committee, Chair
    • Community Relations and Recreation Committee, Vice Chair
    • Finance Committee, Member
  • Anti-Defamation League
    • Board Member
    • Civil Rights Committee Member, Ohio-Kentucky-Allegheny Region
  • Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus
    • Steering Committee Member
  • Cuyahoga County Democratic Party
    • Executive Committee, Member
    • Precinct Committee, Member
  • Cleveland Heights Democratic Club, Trustee

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


  • Wuliger Family AIPAC Policy Conference Scholarship Award, 2013
  • “Your Day in Court” Presentation in Chambers, U.S. District Court Judge Dan Pol-ster, 2012
  • Patricia Ann Burgess Public Law Award, 2011
  • Amy J. Zoslov Memorial Scholarship, 2009
  • Fulbright Grant, Republic of Korea, 2006-07

Presentations & Publications

  • “How to Start Your Local Campaign in Cuyahoga County,” sole author, 2015
  • “Copyright (and Wrongs) for Churches: The Fair Use Doctrine and the Religious Ser-vices Exemption,” ChurchLife!, Spring 2013
  • “Creating Signed, Written Contracts Over the Telephone,” Connections Magazine, July/August 2012
  • When Romer Met Feeney: Why the Second Sentence of the Ohio Marriage Amendment Vio-lates Equal Protection, Case Western Reserve Law Review, 2011
  • “Win a Trip With Nick Kristof,” Finalist, New York Times, May 22, 2006

Representative Experience

“Melissa consistently provides top-quality work for my legal needs. Her understand-ing 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 with over 100 tenants in negotia-tions 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 judgement
  • Helped healthcare employers understand their obligations in maintaining and timely providing patient medical records