Michael T. Sterling


Juris Doctor, 2007

B.A., Political Science, 2004

Bar Admissions

• Georgia, Illinois


Michael T. Sterling, Sr. is a skilled litigator, trial attorney, and counselor-at-law with over a decade of high-stakes and diverse legal experience. Michael has an exceptional record of success in advising and handling a range of complex legal matters in state and federal courts, both locally and across the nation. His clientele consists of businesses, governments, elected officials, public figures, and private individuals. His exceptional advocacy record led to the Fulton County Daily Report recognizing him as one of the “On the Rise” top 40 lawyers under 40.

Michael’s legal career began at Sidley Austin, LLP, one of the nation’s top international law firms. There, he represented institutional clients, including Kraft, Kellogg, Principal Financial, Bank of America, U.S. Cellular, and others, in internal investigations, complex commercial litigation, and white-collar defense.

At age 27, Michael was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Chicago, Illinois. As a federal prosecutor, Michael led investigations and prosecuted criminal and civil cases involving fraud and financial crimes, Ponzi schemes, aggravated identity theft, illegal narcotics trafficking, money laundering, child exploitation, and public corruption. During his tenure there, Michael also successfully handled several oral arguments in the Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals and a number of trials in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.    

In August 2017, Michael served as lead defense counsel in the criminal trial of the District Attorney of Mississippi’s largest county, Hinds County. As counsel for District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith, Michael obtained a jury verdict of not guilty on all criminal charges brought by the State Attorney General’s Office. 

Michael also served as an adviser to the Mayor of the City of Atlanta, helping to establish the City of Atlanta’s Office of Film and Entertainment and reforming the City of Atlanta’s Workforce Agency. Michael has provided legal counsel and guidance to a variety of notable public figures, including Russell Simmons, Eva Marcille Pigford, Kevin Gates, and others.

Michael attended Morehouse College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He graduated summa cum laude from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. 

Activities & Affiliations

  • Board of Directors, Member, Youth Enhancement Services
  • Lead Atlanta Alumnus, Class of 2013
  • Morehouse College National Alumni Association
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Texas Southern University Alumni Association
  • Professor, Texas Southern University