Mariel grew up in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, and—other than briefly living in Columbia, Missouri, during college—has resided in St. Louis ever since. After a somewhat rebellious streak during her teenage years and becoming a mother at age 18 (whoops), she attended a local community college before moving with her son to Columbia to attend University of Missouri–Columbia from 2001 to 2004. She majored in psychology with plans to become a counselor, but decided to change course and apply to law school after a personal experience involving custody proceedings for her son. She returned to St. Louis to attend law school at Saint Louis University. During her second year of law school, Mariel was offered a summer associate position at Greensfelder Hemker & Gale, P.C., a large law firm in St. Louis, and was offered a permanent position following her graduation from law school in 2007.
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