Academic achievement was important to the Robinson family. Michelle skipped second grade and was placed in a “gifted” program while in middle school. She attended Whitney Young High School, one of the top magnet schools in Chicago. After high school, Michelle followed in the footsteps of her older brother and attended Princeton University, where she majored in sociology and minored in African American studies. While in college, Michelle developed an interest in public service, becoming involved in a school organization that supported minority students, which included offering after-school tutoring and daycare services. After college, Michelle went on to Harvard Law School, where she earned a JD and volunteered at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, which provided legal housing services for low-income clients.