By Camille Cannon
Shane Jasmine Young was 9 years old when her family moved to Las Vegas after her father, who worked in the airline industry, started his own business. Diligently, he hired a lawyer with the intention of protecting a legacy for his family. Unfortunately, the opposite happened.
“The attorney and third parties pushed my dad out of control,” Young says. “We lost everything, financially and otherwise.”
Witnessing her family’s devastating loss inspired Young to seek a career in law. Today, she runs Young Law Group, which specializes in personal injury, business, and estate planning, including wills, trusts, and kids’ protection planning for families.
Family is what also brought Young to the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law. After graduating magna cum laude from Pepperdine University with a business administration degree while five months pregnant with identical twins, she and her husband returned to Las Vegas to be surrounded and supported by their extended families. Once Young began pursuing her dream career at the UNLV Boyd Law, that support extended to the law school’s community.
“The faculty, the staff—I felt so welcomed and supported at one of the hardest points in my life. I remember taking my babies to meetings with Dean [Christine] Smith and Dean [Frank] Durand,” Young says. “I never felt like I was figuring things out on my own.”
Even while dealing with the challenges that come with raising twin daughters, Young excelled as a student. She won multiple CALI awards—which are given to students who earn the top grade in a class—in courses such as commercial law, real property, and lawyering process III. She also served as a judicial extern for U.S. District Judge Lloyd D. George, wrote for the Nevada Law Journal, and was Nevada Law Editor for the Law Review.
Young credits the extracurricular opportunities offered at the UNLV Boyd School of Law Boyd for giving her a leg up in the job market. “Law Review enhanced my writing skills and gave me the opportunity to work with my peers on major projects,” she says. “I would encourage any student to do that.”
Upon earning her juris doctor in 2004, Young landed a job with the national firm Snell & Wilmer. However, while enjoying her work as a young attorney, Young quickly sensed that something was missing. “I soon realized that I wasn’t doing what I was called to do or giving all the value I could give,” she says.
So Young balanced her portfolio with pro bono cases, including work with the Children’s Advocacy Project, an organization she connected with during her time at UNLV Boyd Law. She continued offering free legal services at her next role with Ballard Spahr and was instrumental in getting pro bono hours recognized in attorneys’ annual quotas at both firms.
Even as she did important legal work with two prestigious firms, though, Young had long considered opening her own practice. It wasn’t until 2017 after being laid off from an in-house counsel role with a financial services company that she finally made the move.
“We made the decision as a family,” says Young, who had since welcomed three more daughters. “It was scary at first, but I feel very fortunate and blessed how things worked.”
The Young Law Group is a true family affair: Her husband, Charles, is the chief operating officer, and their twin daughters work as summer interns. “I’m so much more fulfilled in the work I’m able to do and doing it on my terms,” Young says.
That work includes meaningful contributions to the Las Vegas community. For instance, Young is recognized for donating more than 100 pro bono hours annually; she developed the Women Decision Makers networking group; and she hosts on-demand webinars and live events to help educate and connect with local families who have legal needs.
“My goal is to build something that lasts for my children and my team members,” Young says.
As for those twin babies who accompanied Young to campus? They’re now young women who are looking to follow in their mom’s footsteps, starting with their legal education: Young says they plan to attend UNLV Boyd, extending a more positive legal legacy in the family.