Michael K. Young is part of the International section as of counsel and helps oversee the firm’s Center for International Dispute Resolution working out of our St. George law office. He is president emeritus and professor of law and public policy at Texas A&M University. Professor Young is also the former president of both the University of Washington (from 2011 to 2015) and the University of Utah (from 2004 to 2011).
Prior to joining the University of Utah, Professor Young was the dean and Lobingier professor of comparative law and jurisprudence at George Washington University Law School, and, for 20 years, the Fuyo professor of Japanese law and legal institutions and director of the Centers for Japanese Legal Studies and Korean Legal Studies at Columbia Law School, where he also co-directed the program on religion, human rights, and religious freedom.
He served in the U.S. Department of State as deputy legal advisor, deputy under secretary for Economic Affairs, and ambassador for Trade and Environmental Affairs during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. He also has served as chair, vice-chair, and a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Professor Young graduated from Brigham Young University (summa cum laude) and Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), where he served as note editor on the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Benjamin Kaplan of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and the Honorable William H. Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court.
He has taught and lectured at numerous foreign universities in Japan, South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, among others.
Professor Young has served as an arbitrator, counsel, and expert witness in several international arbitrations, including, among others, The United States v. The United Kingdom over landing fees at Heathrow Airport and Glamis Gold Corporation v. The United States, an arbitration conducted under the auspices of the investor-state dispute resolution provisions of the North America Free Trade Agreement.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The New York State Bar Association, and The State Bar of California.
Community / Civic Involvement
University Research Association, Chair Council of Presidents, 2018-2020
Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine Southern Utah Exec Advisory Council, Member, 2016-
Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, Dept. of Homeland Security, Member, 2016- Greater Houston Partnership, Board Member, 2016-
Washington State Economic Development Commission, Member, 2012-2015 City of Seattle Economic Development Commission, Member, 2013-2015
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Chair, 2001-2002, 2003-2004; Vice-chair, 1999-2000 Council on Foreign Relations, Member
American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 1999-Present
Harvard Law Review Board of Overseers, Member, 2008-Present
American Council on Education Commission on International Initiatives, 2007-Present Trees Fellowships at the Grand Canyon Trust Advisory Council, Member, 2007-2011
Judicial Conference of the United States, Committee on International Judicial Relations, Member, 1999-2005
Project on Religion, Rights and Religious Freedom: An International Exchange and Research Project, Columbia University, Director, 1994-1998
Project on German and Korean Unification, Columbia University, Centrum fur Angewandte Politikforschung, and the Korean Economic Research Institute, Member, 1997-2000
Japan Society Public Affairs Programs Advisory Committee, 1995-1999 World Trade Organization, Consultant, 1997-1998
Japan Society Professional Fellows Selection Committee, Member, 1994-2004
U.S. Department of State, Consultant, 1993-1995
The Japan Business Law Journal, Board of Editors, 1979-1981
Doing Business in Japan (Matthew-Bender), Board of Editors
Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Committee on Federal Legislation, Member, 1981-1983 Association of American Law Schools, Section on Graduate Studies, Chairman, 1989-1990
Association of American Law Schools, Section on Comparative Law, Chairman, 1987-1988 Yale Law School, Lecture-in-Law, 1986-1987
Honors & Awards
Distinguished Service Award, LDS. International Association, 2011
International Leader of the Year (presented by the World Trade Association of Utah), 2008 U.S.-China Educational Collaboration Leadership Award, Chinese Association for Science and Technology - USA, 2008
Knighted by His Royal Highness of Portugal into the Order of St. Michael of the Wing, 2007 Helping Hands Award, Utah Youth Village, 2006
Award in Recognition of Excellence in the Promotion of International Religious Freedom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2006
Distinguished Service Award, J. Reuben Clark Society, Los Angeles Chapter, 2006
Award for Distinguished Service in Promoting Religious Freedom, The International Center for Law Religious Studies at Brigham Young University, 2005
Communicator of the Year Award, Utah Chapters of the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators, 2005
Award of Excellence in Education, Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 2005 Award for Excellence in Ethics, Utah Valley State University, 2004
Honored Alumni of the Year, College of Humanities, Brigham Young University, 1995
News & Events
- The Honorable William H. Rehnquist, Associate (Chief) Justice, United States Supreme Court, 1977 Term
- The Honorable Benjamin Kaplan, Associate Justice, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1976 Term
Harvard Law School, JD, magna cum laude, 1976
Brigham Young University, BA, Political Science and Japanese, summa cum laude with highest honors, 1973