A series of firsts defines the judicial career of Yvette McGee Brown. She was the first African-American woman elected to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. In January 2011, she became the first African-American woman to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio.
She is presently a partner at the law firm of Jones Day specializing in business and tort litigation and appellate practice.
McGee Brown was first elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile division in 1992. As lead Juvenile Court Judge, she led the creation of the Family Drug Court and the SMART Program, a truancy and educational neglect intervention program. She served on the Common Pleas Court until 2002, when she retired from the bench to create the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The Center is a multi-disciplinary child abuse and family violence program that co-locates prevention, assessment, treatment, research and advocacy services for children and families experiencing abuse.
While a common theme in McGee Brown’s professional and community work is her advocacy for children and families, she is also an active community and corporate leader. She has served on the boards of Ohio University, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Motorist Mutual Insurance Company, M/I Homes Inc. and Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio. She is the former chair of the United Way of Central Ohio, The Ohio State University Alumni Association and the YWCA Columbus Board of Directors. In 2008, Justice McGee Brown was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.
Among her many honors are The Children’s Defense Fund Odd Changers Award, The Ohio University Medal of Merit, The Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award, The Champion of Children Award, YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, Women of Color Woman of the Year, and the Girl Scout Great Award.
McGee Brown graduated from Ohio University in 1982 with a degree in journalism/public relations. She continued her education at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, earning her Juris Doctorate in 1985. She has honorary doctorate degrees from Ohio Dominican University, Wilberforce University, and Central State University.
McGee Brown is married to Tony Brown, a public school educator. They have four children (including a son-in-law) and two grandchildren.