Michelle grew up in Muskegon, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University. While at MSU, she was a member of the Honors College and attended James Madison College, a renowned residential public policy program. After graduation, she came to Chicago and taught seventh grade at an underprivileged school on the west side. She graduated, cum laude, from Chicago-Kent College of Law. While there, she received CALI awards for the highest grades in First Amendment Law and Labor Law.