Case Western Reserve University
(Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif)
Mount Holyoke College
(Magna Cum Laude)
Supreme Court of Ohio
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio
Melissa Yasinow is a fierce advocate for her clients in all legal settings. Trained as a litigator, Melissa has successfully represented students in all manner of disciplinary proceedings across Ohio and the United States. Melissa’s experience includes defending students in Title IX investigations as well as proceedings concerning student misconduct, professionalism, and academic integrity. Her years of litigation experience complement Balin Law’s Social Security Disability practice, helping her to assess SSDI/SSI cases and other claims on behalf of our clients.
Melissa is particularly proud of her work defending students with disabilities, including Depression, ADHD, Anxiety, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Melissa’s experience includes:
- Successfully appealed a fourth-year medical student’s dismissal from an Ohio public university for alleged academic underperformance.
- Successfully defended an Ohio high school senior in a Title IX investigation after he had been suspended without due process.
- Successfully defended a college senior against claims of sexual misconduct at a private college in New York.
- Successfully resolved a sexual misconduct case at a New Jersey public university where both students had Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Successfully defended a pre-med student at a private Ohio university accused of cheating on a physics exam.
- Successfully resolved a disciplinary matter ensuring that an Ohio high school sophomore could return to school and the soccer team after a mental health crisis.
- Successfully appealed the suspension of an Ohio public university student from his pharmacy program after the university failed to provide mandatory due process.
- Successfully appealed a sexual misconduct ruling against a rising senior at a public Indiana university.
- Successfully resolved a disciplinary matter for a high school student after private writings were circulated without his knowledge or consent by former friends.
- Successfully resolved a dispute between a dual-degree graduate student and an Ohio private university where the university had attempted to overbill the student and deny her shared-course credit.
- Advised healthcare professional of her rights under the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program and helped her get confirmation from her nonprofit employer that over $100,000 in student loans would be forgiven.
- Secured disability-related housing accommodations for a visually impaired student at an Ohio public university after he had previously been denied requested housing.
Melissa is also proud to help individuals with disabilities in all legal settings, including before Social Security.
Melissa previously served as a Councilmember and Vice Mayor in the City of Cleveland Heights. When Melissa first joined Cleveland Heights City Council, she was the youngest ever elected official in the city’s history.
Melissa completed Ladder Down Cleveland (Class of 2021), Cleveland Bridge Builders (Class of 2019) and the Mandel Leadership Symposium (Class of 2017). She is also a past Board Member of the Anti-Defamation League in Cleveland.
Melissa is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.
Honors & Awards
Melissa was recognized as a Top Rated Attorney 3 years in a row, making the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in 2019, 2020, and 2021; an honor granted to no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state.
Named one of the “Most Interesting People” by Cleveland Magazine in 2018 and “12 Under 36: Member of the Tribe,” by the Cleveland Jewish News in 2018.
Recipient of a Fulbright Grant to the Republic of Korea where she represented American interests from 2006 to 2007.
"Melissa was essential in helping us to navigate the complex rules and procedures of the school district, and to formulate a strategy that would ensure our child was treated fairly and justly. We could not have achieved the same result our own without her.”
“Melissa Yasinow has been a blessing to me and my family when we didn’t know who else to turn to. Melissa diligently worked for almost a week to compile all the evidence necessary for my appeal. She wrote a brilliant and very professional appeal which successfully reversed the university’s original verdict. I would have been further humiliated by the university and would have had a permanent stain on my academic record if it weren’t for Melissa. Thank you!”
“I worked with Melissa during one of the most emotionally trying periods of my life. She was compassionate and professional towards me at all times. I appreciated her sincerity and straightforwardness. She was available whenever I needed assistance, day or night and throughout the weekend, in putting my documentation together. Melissa was diligent and thorough; she familiarized herself with all the necessary information in an impressively short time frame given the complex nature of my case. I felt confident that I was able to put my best possible case forward because I had Melissa Yasinow on my team. I highly recommend her services and I am forever grateful for the support she provided me.”
“Thank you, Melissa Yasinow, for your professionalism, compassion, and persistence. When our son was wrongly accused of a Title IX violation, Melissa took the time to really get to know him so that she could represent his case. She was a calming force when the school’s biased report was made. Melissa pushed for fairness and proper procedures. She was thorough in researching the other cases and drafting proper legal correspondence with the school. In the end, with her persistent help and professionalism, my son was completely cleared of all accusations. I cannot recommend this practice enough. We love Melissa.”
“Melissa helped our family navigate the complexities of the education system while championing our child’s rights throughout the process. In addition to being highly responsive to our needs, she approached our situation with compassion and made it a priority to personally connect with our child. I highly recommend Melissa for counsel in any matters related to navigating a student’s rights within Ohio’s education system.”
"I'm a graduate student at a well-known and respected university. I had some awful academic experiences that I tried to address with the university internally on my own but the university continued to ignore and brush off my complaints. Universities hold a lot of power and I came to the conclusion that I needed outside help to be heard, so I called on Melissa. Melissa was relentless on my behalf and she was able to get the university to acknowledge AND remedy the issues in my initial complaint. I highly recommend Melissa."
"I am grateful to have connected with Melissa to help address concerns I had regarding my employment status and eligibility for the Public Student Loan Forgiveness program. We realized there was a mistake within my organization that made my status appear ineligible after several years of submitting my PSLF forms. After hearing the details of my story, she readily offered to be my advocate, jumped into researching about my specific situation, and assisted me in understanding my liabilities if my issues were not resolved with my employer. I was quickly able to reach a favorable outcome with her in my corner. I recommend consulting with Melissa if you have concerns about the complexities of PSLF, because she is knowledgeable, honest, and fair."
“Melissa was instrumental in helping our son secure housing on his college campus. Her knowledge and expertise in Disability Law is exceptional, and from our first conversation she understood his needs and rights and immediately went into action. Communication was unsurpassed, and the time frame in which we received the anticipated results was expedient. We would highly recommend Melissa and Balin Law to anyone needing legal assistance."