Michelle began her legal career as a clerk for Harry C. Martin at the North Carolina Court of Appeals and then as a research assistant for Louis Meyer at the North Carolina Supreme Court where she eventually became the Director of Research for that Court. She subsequently served as Executive Director of the Governor's Crime Commission.

She has served as the Chair of the General Practice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and as a member of the Board of Governors.  She has also served on the editorial board of the North Carolina State Bar Journal and authored numerous articles on State and Federal Court judges for that publication.

Michelle has practiced in the areas of personal injury litigation and employment law, including federal discrimination cases, as well as estate litigation and appellate practice.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Litigation - Labor & Employment (2023-2024)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence 
  • Inducted by the Supreme Court of North Carolina into the 2021 North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society

Professional & Civic Associations

  • 28th Judicial District Bar
  • Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Board Member (1995-2019) 
    • Volunteer of the Year Award 2019
  • Asheville Humane Society, Chair (2002-2003)
  • American Red Cross Society Board of Directors (2006-2009)
  • Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism (2006-2009)
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Board of Governors (1995-1998)
    • Dispute Resolution Section Council (2008-2015)
    • General Practice Section (1981-1995) Chair (1993)
  • University of North Carolina - Asheville, Adjunct Professor, Business Management (2007–2015) 
  • Asheville Buncombe Christian Community Ministry, Personnel Committee (1995-present), Chair (2009-2014)

About Me

Michelle has inherited a love for all types of mystery novels from her mother who wrote mysteries for the Doubleday Crime Club. She loves to travel to Europe and sail in the Caribbean. She is also the owner of an English Springer Spaniel who is trained as a therapy dog and participates in a reading program at a local school. 

  • "I could not ask for a better vocation than helping businesses avoid legal difficulties and working with them when things go wrong."
  • Michelle Rippon

Practice Emphasis

  • Employment discrimination, ADA, FMLA, Wage and Hour
  • Employment litigation
  • Appellate practice


North Carolina Central University School of Law

  • J.D., 1981

North Carolina State University

  • M.A., English, 1976

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

  • B.Ed., 1966
  • B.A., English 1965

Bar & Court Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1981
  • U.S. Federal Court of the District of North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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