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Joy Malek Oldfield graduated from the University of Akron school of law after obtaining a Bachelors degree in Sociology from John Carroll University  Before entering public service, she was recognized throughout the State of Ohio as a Plaintiff’s trial attorney. Judge Oldfield started her legal career with Scanlon & Gearinger Co., LPA, and then as a partner at Hill Hardman Oldfield, LLC, where she practiced in the area of complex civil litigation and appeals. A persuasive and effective trial lawyer, she represented clients in state and federal courts throughout Ohio, as well as before the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Supreme Court of the United States. The individals whose causes she undertook suffered age, gender and race discrimination, sustained serious personal injury, and/or unfortunately lost loved ones due to professional or other negligence. The hallmark of Judge Oldfield’s practice as a lawyer was her work ethic, sharp courtroom skills and compassion for humanity.

Drawn to helping people in a larger way, she left a successful career as a private attorney to serve as a Magistrate for Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer in the Summit County Common Pleas Court. As a Magistrate, Oldfield presided over bench and jury trials for civil cases.

In 2011, Judge Oldfield was elected to the Akron Municipal Court, serving until 2016.  There, in addition to her duties as a trial court judge, the other judges elected her as the  Administrative/Presiding Judge from 2014-2016. And, in keeping with the philosophy of treatment in lieu of incarceration, she revamped and presided over the Akron Municipal Drug Court from 2013-2016.

Judge Oldfield joined the General Division of the Summit County Common Pleas Court in November 2016, and her colleagues immediately selected her as Presiding Judge of the Turning Point Program (the Felony Drug Court).

The hallmark of Judge Oldfield’s judicial service has been her tireless work to impact and educate individuals on the disease of addiction and the beauty of recovery.  Through her years on the bench, Judge Oldfield spearheaded various initiatives to try and meet all needs – physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual – for those suffering from the disease of addiction.

Her innovations in this field have been widely recognized. Judge Oldfield founded Faith in Recovery – designed to provide interested participants a spiritual connection along their recovery journey; and, Y-STRONG, designed to provide participants with access to area YMCA facilities for physical wellness.  Also under her leadership, the Turning Point Program obtained Summit County’s first specialized docket therapy dog, “Tank.”  With Tank’s help, participants can relax, reduce their level of stress and feel more comfortable in the Court setting.

In addition, Judge Oldfield works to educate others – locally, state-wide and on the national level.  Two national entities,  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) invited Judge Oldfield to present in a national expert panel to develop guidance for provicers.  She also presented “Trauma in Specialty Court Settings” for SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Restraint and Seclusion and GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation. The session was part of a five-part series and provided information on how treatment courts can provide a trauma-informed approach to support recovery. Since then, SAMHSA’s GAINS Center continues to partner with Judge Oldfield as a leader and expert in the field of recovery.

In 2019, the University of Akron School of Law hired Judge Oldfield to teach Pretrial Advocacy to second and third year law students.  Judge Oldfield continues to teach that course today, designed to instruct students on the skills, standards and ethics required for civil litigation.

Local and state-wide groups recognize Judge Oldfield for her work as a lawyer, a judge and in the recovery community:

  • 2020, Mothers on a Mission Akron Chapter, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Committed to the Cause of Justice” Award
  • 2020, Providence Baptist Church “Juanita Shepherd Service” Award
  • 2018, County of Summit Intercession for Dependency (CSID) “Road to Recovery” Award
  • 2017, Freedom House for Women, “Courage to Change” Award
  • 2011, University of Akron School of Law Distinguished Service Award, Board of Trustees
  • 2007 – 2010, 26th -29th Editions Marquis Who’s Who of American Women, Member
  • 2007, 2010, 2011 Cincinnati Magazine, Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Ohio Edition, Member
  • 2007 Ohio Association for Justice, Distinguished Service Award
  • 2008, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce “30 for the Future” Award

She is a Fellow of the Akron Bar Foundation, a member of the Summit County Criminal Justice Advisory Board and the Oriana House Advisory Committee, an Advisory Board Member of the Women’s Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, an original member of the Summit County Opiate Task Force and a lifetime member of the NAACP.

A Summit County resident, Judge Oldfield has three daughters.


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