She often recounts how she resisted when Barack asked her out, saying in an interview that she felt it would be "tacky" if they started to date because they were "the only two black people" at the firm.
That, anyhow, is how the story goes: Barack and Michelle, whose last name, of course, is now Obama, both enjoy telling it.
She was 25 and had just finished her first year as an associate at Sidley & Austin, a corporate law firm in her home town of Chicago.
Not long after, the firm assigned her to mentor a summer associate named Barack Obama.
In an interview with the cable network TVOne in 2009, Mrs Obama said the couple have managed to make their relationship work despite having to overcome often being large distances apart.