Login | April 25, 2019

Legal Aid in Youngstown adds an attorney

Legal News Reporter

Published: November 2, 2018

A former officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the newest attorney to join the Youngstown office of Community Legal Aid Services Inc.

Michael Kachelries started on Aug. 27 as a staff attorney for the nonprofit law firm’s Neighborhood Law Project (NLP), which provides legal services in Youngstown’s Taft Promise Neighborhood, a 40-block area surrounding Taft Elementary School, as well as other assistance.

“I am excited to contribute to the great work the organization has been doing for so long,” said Kachelries. “The experience has been intense, but I am learning a great deal from the other more experienced attorneys at legal aid.”

Steven McGarrity, executive director at Community Legal Aid Services, said Kachelries cares deeply about the city and its residents.

“His commitment was clear when I interviewed him for the position,” said McGarrity. “He had already served his country and now he wants to assist low-income residents in Youngstown.

“I would add that it’s the first time I ever called an army general for a reference check, which was a little intimidating.”

Born in Youngstown, Kachelries moved to Austintown when he was seven and he currently lives there with his wife Chelsea and their four children.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science from Youngstown State University in 2010, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve, where he spent three years on intermittent active duty orders, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

When he returned, he enrolled at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, receiving his juris doctor in 2017.

“I did not realize I wanted a career in public service until I started law school and realized that this type of work would make me happy.”

During law school, Kachelries served as a law clerk in the Franklin County Public Defender’s Office and worked for the Grassbaugh Veterans Project, where he assisted military veterans with civil issues.

Prior to beginning at Community Legal Aid Services, he was a civil legal fellow for Student Legal Services at The Ohio State University.

“At Student Legal Services I assisted attorneys in representing students in landlord/tenant and consumer legal matters,” said Kachelries.

Since starting at Community Legal Aid, Kachelries has helped to prepare a lawsuit against Vision Property Management on behalf of five clients alleging predatory practices by the South Carolina real estate company.

The suit was filed in the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in mid-October.

“The complaint was 68 pages long and for someone with less than a year of legal experience to get the chance to work on such a big case is amazing,” he said. “It has definitely helped me to improve my drafting skills and the feedback I’ve received has been quite positive.”