Michael F. Bolin was born in, and a lifetime resident of, Jefferson County, Alabama. He attended elementary school in Birmingham, being accepted into the first magnet school for scholastic achievement. He then attended Homewood Junior High School, and graduated from Shades Valley High School in 1966 as a member of the National Honor Society. In 1970, he received his B.S. in Business Administration from Samford University. In 1973, he received his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law, graduating cum laude. At Cumberland, he was on the Dean's List and served as Associate Editor of the Cumberland-Samford Law Review. He was later inducted into Curia Honors, Cumberland's leadership and honor society.
Justice Bolin was a practicing attorney in Birmingham from 1973 through 1988, when he was elected as Probate Judge of Jefferson County. He was re-elected to that position in 1994 and 2000. He served in that position until his election to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2004, and began serving as an Associate Justice in January 2005.
Justice Bolin was active in the Alabama Probate Judges Association, serving as chairman of various association committees. He was elected by his peers as President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Probate Judges Association. He served on the Children's Code Committee, Probate Procedures Committee, Adoption Committee, and Paternity Committee of the Alabama Law Institute. He authored the Putative Father Registry law in Alabama, which protects the rights of all parties in adoption proceedings. He received the national award from the "Angels of Adoption" organization in Washington, D.C. in 2000 for his service to adoptive families. He additionally served as Chief Election Official, Chairman of the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee, and as Vice Chairman of the Governor's Commission on Consolidation, Efficiency, and Funding in 2003. He is a member of the Vestavia-Hoover Kiwanis Club.
Justice Bolin and his wife, Rosemary, have one daughter.