Chalon Young

Professor of Practice

Chalon C. Young is a Professor of Practice at Pitt Law, where she serves as the Co-Director of the Pitt Law School Externship Program. She created the State Defense Practicum, an experiential course offering students real-world experience by partnering with the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender.

Professor Young has more than 20 years of experience in criminal defense, both State and Federal, along with experience in civil tort defense. She has primarily dedicated her career to indigent criminal defense, having tried more than a hundred jury trials as a public defender, mostly in violent crimes, homicide, and complex major crimes. Professor Young uses her experience in criminal defense litigation to merge theory and practice in her classes. Currently, she represents indigent clients in the Federal system by serving as a court-appointed attorney on the CJA Panel.

Before joining Pitt Law, she served as the manager of training and director of internship programs for the Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office in Pittsburgh. Prior to that position, she taught graduate and undergraduate criminal justice, criminal law and procedure, and sociology at Columbia College in Orlando, Florida. She earned the distinction of Board Certification in Criminal Trials as an attorney in Florida and has completed specialized training in investigative interviewing and interrogations through the Reid Institute. She is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, and Federally in the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania and the Northern District of West Virginia.  

    Education & Training

  • JD, Tulane University
  • BA, West Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Reid Institute of Interviewing and Interrogation
Recent Publications


  •  “Interrogation in the Modern Age,” Florida Bar Journal, Fall 2011
  •  “SEC Heightens Compliance Enforcement of Public Companies in 2022,” Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, Sept. 2022

Selected Popular Media

Selected Presentations

  • Mid-Atlantic Consortium of Law School Externship Programs, “Making a Mentor: How to Effectively Mentor & Supervise Externship Students” (Feb. 28, 2024)
  • Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, “Pardon Me: Exploring the Harms of Criminal Records and the Benefits of Executive Pardons” (Oct. 26, 2023)
  • Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, “SEC Heightens Compliance Enforcement for Public Companies – What it Means for 2023” (Jan. 17, 2023)
Research Interests
  • Criminal interrogation
  • Intersection of absurdism, art, and the criminal justice system
  • Psychology of violent offenders
  • Philosophy of crime and punishment