Michelle Cheng joined the personal injury attorneys at Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC, in 1996. She grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota and received her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. After college, Michelle escaped the cold weather by coming to Austin to work as an engineer at Motorola, where she designed engine controller chips for Ford automobiles. She soon decided that she wanted a career in which she could work more closely with people, however, and left Motorola to attend the University of Texas School of Law.
Ms. Cheng represents injured persons and their families in cases involving medical malpractice, birth injuries, products liability, automobile and trucking accidents, and other serious personal injuries and wrongful death. She is also a certified mediator. In 2013, the Travis County Women Lawyers Association named her a Pathfinder, an honor awarded to women the organization believes to be “role models and trailblazers.” In 2006, the Austin Young Lawyers Association named her Outstanding Young Lawyer of Austin. She received a Litigation Award from the Travis County Women Lawyers Association in 2004, and she has been named a Texas Super Lawyer (2009 – 2020) and a Texas Rising Star (2004 – 2006) by Thomson Reuters.
Ms. Cheng enjoys staying active in the community and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association and the board of Line Upon Line Percussion. She also serves as one of nine co-Administrators for the largest digital bar association in Texas, with nearly 16,000 members. She previously served on several Texas statewide boards, including the Board of Directors for the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Access to Justice Commission (where she was Chair of the Technology Committee); as Chair of a State Bar Grievance Committee; on the Board of Editors for the Texas Bar Journal; on the State Bar Web Services Committee, where she is a past Chair; and on the State Bar’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force.
Ms. Cheng also previously served on a number of local Austin boards, including the Boards of the Austin Bar Foundation and the Austin Bar Association, from which she received an Outstanding Director award and an Outstanding Committee Chair Award; and on the Boards of Directors for the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association; the Austin Asian-American Bar Association; and the Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project. Ms. Cheng also served on the Board of Directors of the Austin Young Lawyers Association and received their Outstanding Director Award in 2004. She was also a longtime Advisory Board member for the Capital Area AIDS Legal Project.
Michelle is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Austin and is a member of a number of other organizations, including the American Association for Justice, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and the State Bar of Texas. In her free time, she seeks out culinary adventure for her food blog.
Ms. Cheng has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas; the United States District Courts, Western District of Texas; and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
- Supreme Court of Texas
- The United States District Courts
- Western District of Texas
- The U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
Honors and Awards
- Super Lawyers, Texas (2009 – 2023)
- Super Lawyers, Rising Stars (2004 – 2006)
- Litigation Award,Travis County Women Lawyers Association (2004)
- Co-Author, Pre- and Post-Suit Notice: Medical Authorizations & the 120-Day Expert Report, 51 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 765 (2019)