MSU College of Law

Robert P. Young

Adjunct Professor
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 368
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. has been a member of the Michigan Supreme Court since 1999. He became Chief Justice in 2011. Before joining the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Young served as a judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Chief Justice Young graduated in 1974 from Harvard College with honors and from Harvard Law School in 1977. In 1978, he joined the law firm of Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman, becoming a partner in the firm in 1982. From 1992, until he joined the Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Young was the vice president, corporate secretary, and general counsel of AAA Michigan.

Chief Justice Young has had significant involvement in numerous civic and charitable activities during his career. In addition to his varied community activities, which include being a member of the Advisory Board of the United Community Services of Metropolitan Detroit and a trustee of the Grosse Point Academy, University Liggett School and Cranbrook Schools, Chief Justice Young is most proud of his service as a trustee of charitable and civic organizations devoted to the interest of children such as the Detroit Institute of Children, Vista Maria, The Detroit Historical Society, and the Governor's Task Force on Children's Justice Concerning Child Abuse and Neglect. Child Justice Young is also a former commissioner of the Michigan Civil Service Commission, a former trustee of Central Michigan University, and a former chair of the Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce Leadership Detroit program. He has served on the boards of many other civic organizations.

Chief Justice Young is a frequent lecturer on judicial philosophy and the role of courts in our constitutional Republic. He has been an adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School for more than 20 years and is co-editor of Michigan Civil Procedure During Trial, 2d Ed. (Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1989), Michigan Civil Procedure, (Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1999), Michigan Civil Procedure, 2d Ed., (Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012), and is the author of a book chapter, "Active Liberty and the Problem of Judicial Oligarchy," in The Supreme Court and the Idea of the Constitutionalism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), as well as "A Judicial Traditionalist Confronts Justice Brennan's School of Judicial Philosophy," in the Oklahoma City University Law Review (2008) and "A Judicial Traditionalist Confronts the Common Law," in the Texas Review of Law & Politics (2004).

In 2001 and 1999, Chief Justice Young was awarded honorary degrees respectively from Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. In 1999, Chief Justice Young was named Detroit Country Day School's Alumni of the Year. In 2012, he was named Lawyer of the Year by Michigan Lawyer's Weekly.

Chief Justice Young has been married for more than 40 years to his college sweetheart and is the father of two adult sons.

  • Civil Trial Advocacy I
    (Formerly DCL 472) Evidence may be taken concurrently with Advocacy I, but extra preparation may be necessary. Advocacy I begins your journey into civil trial practice. Using a circuit court forum and the Michigan Court Rules, we will explore discovery in the context of a typical case from the filing of a complaint to the first day of trial. Students will draft complaints, answers and affirmative defenses, propound written discovery, take fact and expert depositions, prepare and argue motions and mediation, and prepare for trial. There will be role-play as plaintiff or defense counsel. The final grade is a compilation of oral in-class performance and participation, and written assignments. Because this course duplicates the content of courses in the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute program, students in the FTPI may not receive academic credit for this course.