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Young strives to ‘balance the scales’

Toni Young - Balancing the Scales of Justice

Toni Young – Balancing the Scales of Justice

Sometimes people can’t speak for themselves.

Maybe they’re incapacitated with a brain injury. Maybe they’re dealing with psychological trauma. When someone’s voice can’t be heard, Toni Young considers it her mission to help.

Young started her private practice — Balancing the Scales of Justice — in February after working for years as a Wisconsin State Public Defender. Going into private practice hasn’t greatly changed the nature of her work. Currently practicing in Racine and Kenosha, she still takes public-defender appointments and also does guardian ad litem work for Racine County.

The name Balancing the Scales of Justice serves as a daily reminder, Young said, of what she tries to do in the courtroom. It’s about action. That message resonates in her work in criminal law too, in which she often represents indigent clients who might not be able to afford a legal defense team.

A priority for Young, especially in criminal defense cases, is stressing the humanity of her clients because, they’re human. She wants them to be seen for who they are, not one mistake they might have made.

“We all make mistakes, as humans,” she said.

As a guardian ad litem, she represents children who might be victims of parental abuse or neglect. Here again, Young is putting herself in a position to speak up for vulnerable people going through hard times.

“I love the guardian ad litem work. It’s a good balance between that work and criminal law, which I think is my first passion,” she said.

Jordan Madden, who worked as an investigator with Young at the public defender’s office, said Young is a treasure trove of knowledge and understanding of her clients and their families.

“The criminal justice system — and maybe more accurately, the world — would be a lot more fair if more people like Toni lead us,” Madden said.


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