This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (July 2020)
His secondary education was with the Christian Brothers at St Thomas More College and St Leo’s College. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, and subsequently a Master of Laws, at the University of Melbourne.
McDonald was admitted to practice in 1985 and signed the Bar Roll in 1989. He practiced as a barrister for more than 25 years, nearly 9 years as Silk, and was a leader in Employment and Workplace Relations Law.
He served Articles at Phillips, Fox & Masel. He later became an Advocate, first for the Australian Public Service Association, and later for the Municipal Officers Association. He appeared regularly in the Supreme Court of Victoria, in the Federal Court and in the Fair Work Commission, and also in several landmark cases in the High Court, including:
- Patricks v The Maritime Union of Australia;
- Re Pacific Coal Pty Limited; Ex parte: The CMFEU);
- Electrolux v The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; and
- The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations v Gribbles Radiology Pty Ltd.
- "Welcome--The Honourable Justice Michael Phillip McDonald". Retrieved 18 July 2017.