Law student spearheads new Medical & Health Law Society


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

When Katelyn Young was in middle school she yearned to become a “special agent,” and was interested in the CIA’s Clandestine Service Trainee Program.

“That obviously didn’t pan out – I’m not a secret agent,” she says with a smile.

During her senior high school year, Young dual-enrolled at Washtenaw Community College, and a course in criminal investigation led her to major in criminal justice at Michigan State University.

As a two-time summer intern at the U.S. Marshals Service in the Detroit field office, she worked with the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Task Force (DFAT) on ride-along pursuits, criminal investigations, and sting operations with other Department of Justice agents, gained exposure to the federal court system, took former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to court during a rotation with the Detention Enforcement Officers, and participated in the Michigan Less-Lethal taser training and certification training, even getting voluntarily “tased.”

But when Young graduated in 2012, a hiring freeze at many federal agencies put the kibosh on pursuing plans in that field.

Returning to her native Ann Arbor, she worked at the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) where, in her work with the Department of Otolaryngology and the Office of Clinical Safety, she realized a career in law would allow her to marry her passion for investigative work and writing.

Coming from a family of medical professionals, Young knew her squeamish tendencies would nix a medical career, but she wanted a career that would allow her to give back to the community on a daily basis.

“Serving the law and advocating for clients seemed like a noble alternative and I guess the rest was history,” she says.

She headed to Wayne Law, where one of her favorite aspects is the collegiality among fellow classmates.

“Coming from a Big Ten University, having a large alumni network was an important criterion,” she says. “Wayne Law has a reputation of having an incredible alumni presence in the metro-Detroit community – over the last year, I’ve met law students who have become some of my very best friends and alumni who’ve offered support and assistance navigating the Detroit legal community.”

As president of the Medical & Health Law Society—a newer student organization at Wayne Law—the 2L student is enjoying the opportunity to be part of the growing organization and serving in a leadership position, and thankful for the opportunity to partner and collaborate with other student organization leaders, and leaders among the Wayne State community to be part of important discussions and service projects.

“It’s challenging to cultivate interest in a group that has not been on campus very long but I’m surrounded by a dedicated, enthusiastic, and optimistic executive board and I’m hopeful we can continue to grow over the next few years,” she says.

“Being a new group does have its perks, which include the autonomy and flexibility to take risks, be creative, and mold our mission and values to fit our current student body. Last year we had a smoothie sale that was incredibly successful and students actually requested we have another this year!”

The fledgling organization recently worked with the Greater Detroit Coalition’s Homeless Not Helpless group, putting together “Blessing Bags” to distribute to at-risk and homeless individuals around Detroit, with a specific focus on Midtown.

Young is serving a second year as a Governor-at-Large on the Student Board of Governors.

“I enjoy being able to represent the student body and feeling like I have a voice in many of the decisions that impact students and offer recommendations and suggestions for how we can continue to improve the law school,” she says.

She is a junior member of the Moot Court team, whose members are taking an Appellate Advocacy course in preparation for out-of-state competitions in the spring. Young will participate in the Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition next March at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, N.J.

“I’ve enjoyed learning about the intricacies of appellate brief writing,” she says. “I look forward to learning how to improve my oral advocacy and skills and gain communication experience with oral arguments.”

She also serves as a student ambassador, sharing her experiences with incoming and potential students.

In the summer before her 2L year, Young interned for U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox, gaining a variety of different experiences in and out of the courtroom and assisting judicial clerks with research projects, and drafting memorandum and orders. She enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk with Barbara L. McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan; and also observed oral arguments, plea hearings, sentencing hearings, scheduling conferences, jury selection, and trial. “Most notably, I was able to observe United States vs. Hansberry, the Detroit Police Department corruption case trial, from start to finish,” she says.

She also was awarded the Mark A. Miller Memorial Fund Scholarship, given each year by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to a summer intern.

Currently a student intern with the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer (LAPC), a Wayne Law clinic in a medical-legal partnership with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, Young recently accepted a summer associate position for next year at Bodman PLC, working at its main office located in Ford Field, Detroit.

“I’m truly excited to learn and grow with such an incredible law firm,” she says.

An Ann Arbor native, Young now makes her home in Detroit. Her hobbies include reading, skiing, snowboarding, watching football, and spending time with her family – her father and uncle co-own Dexter Cabinet & Countertop, her mother works at the University of Michigan Health System, and her sister is a neonatal intensive care unit nurse at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Young also enjoys spending time with her dogs, a Golden Retriever named Ozzie and a German Shepherd mix named Ziggy.

“I’m a fur-mom at heart and I love my dogs,” she says.

Golf is another passion—and Young has been at home on the greens since she was knee high to a golf tee.

“I love playing golf – I’ve been playing ever since I can remember,” she says. “I was captain of the golf team at Dexter High School and we won the Division II State Championship twice in four years.”


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