Judge Michelle C. Kim received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, pursued a masters degree at UCLA in Asian American studies, but then instead earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2002. Before law school, she worked as a data manager for the UCLA Women and Family Project where she supervised researchers studying HIV and women. She also coordinated the Asian Pacific Employment Discrimination Outreach Project at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. After passing the California bar in 2002, she joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office first as a deputy public defender then as an alternate public defender starting in 2005. She remained there until her appointment to the bench in 2018 by Governor Edmund G. Brown. She has been involved in many different organizations including Girl Scouts of America, Organization Chinese Americans-Asian Pacific American Advocates, Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team, Asian Pacific Community Fund, Los Angeles County Employees Asian American Association, Los Angeles County Management Council, UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Stanford University alumni volunteer interviewer. She is a democrat.