Campus News

Who is Justin Younker?

August 11, 2021

Yvonne Gay

A portrait of a man wearing a suit and tie.
Assistant Attorney Justin Younker.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

A typical day for Justin Younker is never typical. That's why he considers serving as assistant attorney at Oberlin College a dream job. Find out more about Younker in this installment of Who Am I?

 

Full Name: Justin William Younker 

Department and location on campus: Office of the Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary located in the Cox Administration Building  

Job title: Assistant Attorney 

What does your job entail? I have a dream job. My duties change by the hour. The majority of my practice is business law, but I never know what will come in the door. My day can span from intellectual property issues, to business agreements, and even to issues of political speech on campus. I also have assisted the college with the plethora of legal issues arising from the pandemic—it is certainly an interesting time to be a lawyer.  

How many years at Oberlin? Two years.  [Before coming to Oberlin] I was an associate attorney at a law firm in Cleveland.  

When did you decide being an attorney was the career for you? I did not grow up with any attorneys around me, but I was always drawn to the concept of problem solving. I entered law school in hopes of finding a career that would constantly present me with tough problems. I did not develop a true conceptual love for the law until my first year of law school. 

What do you enjoy most about the work you do? I really enjoy directly interacting with and serving students; faculty and staff are a close second! 

Any advice for students seeking a career in law? Take time off before law school! I always say to make law a second career. I think that having the perspective of work experience gives new lawyers an edge right out of the gate. Clients really want lawyers to be able to see "the whole board," and that skill comes from life experience. 

Best advice someone ever gave you? Be present in every conversation. 

Favorite movie? 13 days

Favorite place in Oberlin and why? The Mandarin. I eat there Tuesday through Friday—they're closed on Mondays. 

Favorite childhood memory? Fishing with my pawpaw is certainly one of my fondest memories. 

Best vacation ever? My wife and I went to South Africa and Botswana. The wildlife was incredible.  

Any recent achievements you would like to tell us about? My girls! I have two daughters, a three year old and a one year old. 

Hobbies? My stock answer is to say gardening, but the reality is that I spend all my free time with my kiddos outside doing what they want (e.g. eating rocks, stomping in puddles, "catching" birds, etc). 

Nickname(s)? Nothing that comes to mind. People have always had an affinity for just calling me "Younker." Not sure why. 

Favorite food? Homemade pasta or bread. 

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