Trusted Experience. Proven Leadership.
Michelle Zehnder Fischer was born in Fairmont, before moving to Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. She was raised on a small farm and graduated from Sauk Rapids High School where she was active in many school, community, and volunteer organizations. Her participation included being an active leader in the Benton County 4-H Program.
“I am proud of my rural background and the strong work ethic it taught me.” - Michelle Zehnder Fischer
Michelle attended St. Cloud State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She obtained her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law, graduating Summa Cum Laude, in May 1994. Zehnder Fischer served on the William Mitchell Law Review as an associate editor and participated in trial advocacy competitions.
Seeking a return to Southern Minnesota, Michelle worked for just over a year as a judicial law clerk in Mower and Dodge Counties. This experience provided her with insight into judicial decision-making.
In 1995, Michelle moved to St. Peter to join the law firm of MacKenzie and Gustafson and the Nicollet County Attorney’s Office. When she joined the office, all Assistant County Attorneys were part-time. Michelle’s private practice focused primarily on family law as well as litigation, debt collection, and personal injury. As an Assistant County Attorney, she handled all domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and child abuse cases; all child protection cases; and child support cases. Michelle became the Chief Deputy County Attorney in 2001, and a shareholder with MacKenzie and Gustafson in 2007.
In 2011, Michelle was appointed by the Nicollet County Board of Commissioners to complete the term of former Nicollet County Attorney Michael Riley when he retired as County Attorney. This transition also offered an opportunity for the Nicollet County Attorney’s Office to become a full-time County Attorney’s office. The transition from a part-time to full-time office offered the citizens of Nicollet County an office dedicated solely to the needs of Nicollet County. The transition lead to increased collaboration and communication between the individual departments and the County Attorney’s Office.
Michelle and her husband Mike live in North Mankato with their two children, Carson (15) and Danielle (13). Michelle’s children are her proudest accomplishments. She is a baseball, hockey, trapshooting, soccer, volleyball, track, and figure skating mom. Michelle supports her children’s activities as a cheerleader, hockey team treasurer, soccer team manager, and volunteer in the figure skating club.